Spread Best Practices with an Agile Center of Excellence

Facilitate ongoing alignment between Agile teams and the business with a set of targeted service offerings.

Onsite Workshop

As Agile scales and environments get more complex, there is an inherent risk that:

  • Individual development teams may optimize their own processes and tools without considering the effects on dependent teams or their alignment with business objectives.
  • Tribal knowledge will proliferate, with no contingencies in place to protect against knowledge leaving with the individual.
  • Successful practices seen in other pilot teams will be implemented without considering their overall alignment to business objectives.
  • Agile will start to lean on rigid management and governance structures, hindering teams’ abilities to innovate and continuously improve.

Leveraging the flexible governance structures of an Agile Center of Excellence will:

  • Create effective mechanisms to not only spread best practices, but to absorb innovations from Agile teams back into the organization when deemed appropriate by the Center of Excellence (CoE).
  • Create an interface point between your business and your Agile teams, effectively managing alignment challenges as they arise to minimize impact on productivity.
  • Provide transparency to your business stakeholders, allowing them to build trust as they see what Agile is capable of.

Module 1: Determine Vision of CoE

The Purpose

  • Create strategic alignment between the CoE and the organization’s goals, objectives, and vision.
  • Understand how your key stakeholders will impact the longevity of your CoE.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Top-down alignment with strategic aims of the organization.
  • A set of high-level use cases to form the CoE’s service offerings around.
  • Visualization of key stakeholders, with their current and desired power and involvement documented.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Identify and prioritize organizational business objectives.
  • Agile business objectives
1.2 Form use cases for the points of alignment between your Agile Center of Excellence (ACE) and business objectives.
  • Business-aligned use cases to form CoE’s service offerings
1.3 Prioritize your ACE stakeholders.
  • Stakeholder map of key influencers

Module 2: Define Service Offerings of CoE

The Purpose

  • Document the functional expectations of the Agile teams.
  • Refine your business-aligned use cases with your collected data to achieve both business and functional alignment.
  • Create a capability map that visualizes and prioritizes your key service offerings.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understanding of some of the identified concerns, pain points, and potential opportunities from your stakeholders.
  • Refined use cases that define the service offerings the CoE provides to its customers.
  • Prioritization for the creation of service offerings with a capability map.

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Form a solution matrix to organize your pain points and opportunities.
2.2 Refine your use cases to identify your ACE functions and services.
  • Service offerings refined based on pains and opportunities identified during ACE requirements gathering
2.3 Visualize your ACE functions and service offerings with a capability map.
  • ACE Capability Map

Module 3: Define Engagement Plans

The Purpose

  • Align service offerings with an Agile adoption model so that teams have a structured way to build their skills.
  • Standardize the way your organization will interact with the Center of Excellence to ensure consistency in best practices.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Mechanisms put in place for continual improvement and personal development for your Agile teams.
  • Interaction with the CoE is standardized via engagement plans to ensure consistency in best practices and predictability for resourcing purposes.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Further categorize your use cases within the Agile adoption model.
  • Adoption-aligned service offerings
3.2 Create an engagement plan for each level of adoption.
  • Role-specific engagement plans

Module 4: Define Metrics and Plan Communications

The Purpose

  • Develop a set of metrics for the CoE to monitor business-aligned outcomes with.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • The foundations of continuous improvement are established with a robust set of Agile metrics.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Define metrics that align with your Agile business objectives.
  • Business objective-aligned metrics
4.2 Define target ACE performance metrics.
  • ACE performance metrics
4.3 Define Agile adoption metrics.
  • Agile adoption metrics
4.4 Assess the interaction and communication points of your Agile team.
4.5 Create a communication plan for change.
  • ACE communication plan

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