Tech Terminal Episode 7 – Flowing Away from Waterfall and Into Agile

Tech Terminal

Over 50% of development projects fail…But where are managers getting it wrong? In this tech terminal episode, the experts spotlight the missing piece to your management strategy that will ignite transformation within your organization.

Chris Cox hosts a very special guest, Richard Haydon, a scrum master, agile coach, and delivery manager to share the power of employing a lean, agile methodology…especially in large organizations. Richard has extensive experience changing teams with a hands-on approach that restructures them to optimize their potential, which has led him to find that the key to making sustainable, deep-rooted changes within an organization is these leaner teams.

But the question remains: how can such a small team make any impact? Putting their success on display plays a big role along with gradually integrating the lessons learned into other small teams. Even with the typical struggle of grasping buy-in from senior leadership, Richard makes it simple: “Give me a couple of devs, give me a couple of testers, give me dev-ops…”. In one specific case, he showcased the results produced by a hyper-focused team using creative visual displays to reach eyes that wouldn’t have known the impact of their work otherwise. The reactions were often, “‘Wow, you’re releasing in Hong Kong next week. Wow, I didn’t know that; that’s brilliant.’ So directors and seniors are walking past and talking to the team”. And the word not only gets to leaders but also members throughout the organization who grow an interest in joining the success and collaborating with the team.

This approach underlines the importance of adopting an agile approach in this process. Teams that employ a waterfall methodology simply lack the flexibility to split up teams and successfully experiment with structure and workflow as projects progress. “Being heavy on documentation and being heavy on very set, step-by-step procedures” as described by Chris, waterfall teams have difficulty setting priorities and leveraging them to incrementally deliver to the organization.

Throughout the episode, Richard walks us through the process of implementing this effort from the perspective of a project manager and highlights some of his most insightful personal project experiences with clients and their teams. They also share fundamental team leadership strategies that target all stakeholders and involve everyone, from associates to senior leadership, to generate greater business value. 

Hear all about it in this month’s episode which is now available on Spotify: 

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