Project Management

Agility in a Nutshell Webinar Q&A

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Peter Monkhouse
Joanna Tivig

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Welcome to the Product Ownership blog!

On June 17th, Joanna and I held a Webinar on titled Agility in a Nut Shell. If you want to listen to the webinar click here.

Thank you to all those who asked questions on the live webinar. We were able to answer many of the questions, but unfortunately, we run out of time to answer all the questions. In this post, we are providing written responses to those questions that we did not answer during the webinar. If you have any further questions, please contact us. Thank you for your support and great questions and comments.

Q: In my office, we work with scrum methodology (agile) to organize our activities, responsibilities, scope and teams for example, but sometimes we end up using waterfall documents and techniques to register meetings, address risk and so on. How valid is this mix of methodologies? Is it better to use one or another?

A: In general, it is better to use one or the other. However, you need to take into account the culture of the organization, the team’s preference and what is best for the customer. PMI and others have recognized there is a hybrid approach to project management, looks like you are doing an example of this. But it should be one stage to getting to a ‘one methodology’ approach

Q: That was my point from my previous question, change for change’s sake is not agility, correct?

A: Correct. Organizations need to select the approach to deliver products that will give them the best chance of success. You should never change just to change.

Q: How do you reduce requirements chaos during agile project management?

A: In our experience, requirements chaos is greater on traditional waterfall projects! In the case of agile, you need to ensure that all new requirements are added to the product backlog, not the sprint backlog, and you are rigorous in your sprint planning at the start of each sprint.

Q: What if the business is agile but aggressive with constant change and the implementation team is having a hard time keeping up?

A: Good question. This is hard to answer without knowing more information. One suggestion is to use shorter sprints for the implementation team to have small pieces. Also, remember there needs to be a partnership and the concept of one team working together towards a goal.

Q: Any suggestions on how to virtually storyboard

A: Using a video conference and sharing a tool like Mural, Miro, Jamboard or Microsoft Teams, you can set up the storyboard (templates are available for some of these tools). Start with personas, identify high-level features or epics and then user stories. Remember to define the MVP as part of the next steps. A great book to read – User story mapping, by Jeff Patton

Q: Can you suggest any reading references that help an organization move from command and control leadership to servant leadership.

A: Good questions, this is all about changing the culture. You may want to look at the information on and read Turn the Ship Around! By L. David Marquet and Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal.

Q: Would you agree that agile is simply software developed for businesses and agility reflects the ability of a business as a whole to respond quickly to changes, particularly external.

A: No, as mentioned in the webinar, we are talking about agility, not the agile methodology. All organizations need to be able to adapt to changes. Having agility, where you can adapt to change is important for all organizations. In terms of the agile methodology, I believe agile should be used in any section when appropriate. In particular, when the scope is not clear and cannot be defined.

Q: Is it possible to have too much leadership agility, where priorities may change to quickly? If so, how can you identify that versus healthy agility? Do you have any suggestions for how to avoid it?

A: No. If an organization's priority is changing quickly, then I would argue that the organization does not have a good strategy. If you have a good strategy, then you know where you are going. You may hit roadblocks that cause you to change your approach, but the strategy will ensure everyone knows where the organization is going.

Q: What about teams who are continuing to develop new features to the product using the waterfall model but with agile practices? in Latam a lot of companies think that are applying agile ceremonies but executing projects with waterfall methodologies.

A: Yes, we have seen this. Typically, this is a case where organizations are not willing to change. Agility needs to happen at all levels in the organization, including senior management. Senior management needs to embrace the agile approach including accepting different metrics.

Q: Insurance companies didn't do their due diligence in testing covid vaccines. Use a different example next time.

A: Insurance companies should not be testing vaccines. I take your point that not all organizations, including drug manufacturers, do not also do a good job in testing. However, in my experience, due to various regulations, the drug manufacturers are better than most.

Q: Speaking of Covid, our health organization has been very agile in delivering the vaccine. My first interaction was slow, single-person interaction. the second was a more agile process.

A: I completely agree. This is a good example of continuous learning.

Questions answered during the webinar

Q: Who should lead the transformation to Agility in the organization?

Q: Can agile create efficiencies, not just steady-state?

Q: Can a steady-state be effective, not just agile?

Q: Not to be too complicated about it, but isn't steady-state somewhat agile if everything around us is

Q: Where does production land in the triangle of agility?

Q: Can we measure Agility, is it something that we could put on a scale some can improve?

Q: How do you start agile in a company which is not projectized and does not know agile

Q: What to do for the team members or employees of the organizations when the team leader is not embracing agility?

Q: Do the organizations should work with hybrid methodologies meaning, for the c- level as predictive methodologies and the processes as agile

Q: How do we become more efficient and increase velocity for new agile teams?

Q: Before implementing the change, how to identify the concerned stakeholders to whom the change should be acknowledged?

Q: Are there statistics showing that Agility is being successful?

Q: We've found the most success in helping bring about agile change by implementing agile principles within the realm of work we control and showing others how it has been successful for us. This can be anyone implementing it within your own workflow and showing your manager how it helped just a thought :)

Q: There a number of industries where the core business is not projectized, nor processes subject to agile. Where do we stop in such a dynamic, at what level and what employee groups?

Q: Does agility create constant change, or help address constant change? I do not think there is a need to create change, I think there is a need to handle it efficiently and effectively.


If you have any other questions or comments, please reply to this blog post.


Posted by Peter Monkhouse on: June 28, 2021 09:27 PM | Permalink

Comments (2)

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Dear Peter
Very interesting questions and some of the answers you shared with us.
Thanks for sharing and answers.v

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