I am a proponent of agile methodologies, but I believe adoption follows the basics of organizational change. I would suggest the keys are:
* A champion who is a leader in his sphere of influence. A senior executive for a corporate-wide effort, a depratment head for a department-wide effort, a project manager or technical lead for a project effort.
* The champion has to be truly enthusiastic about the effort - no figurehead will do. When everything is at its worst (and you will hit this sooner or later), the champion has got to be the individual to reinvigorate the effort.
* A long-term commitment. Adopting agile will take time, think years not weeks.
* Start small, preferably with volunteers. Success by early adopters will lead to acceptance by mainstream. Late adopters will always be a challenge.
* Communicate the effort heavily. This is an advertising campaign to win the hearts and minds of the staff. Write about the effort in company blogs or newsletters. Consider having your initial agile team's meeting "room" in a highly traveled area so that the entire company can see your task board, burn down, whatever you choose to post.
P.S. Michelle Sliger recently spoke to our local APLN chapter. The following is an announcement she sent concerning her soon to be published book on bridging agile and waterfall. I am not endorsing nor condeming, just sharing the information.
When I spoke at the D.C. APLN chapter last month, I asked for the business cards of folks who were interested in receiving a discount on my upcoming book. This email is just to let you know that if you’d like to purchase a copy, Amazon, in conjunction with Addison-Wesley, is now offering a 5% discount on all pre-orders (see tagline below).
Thank you all for your interest. I hope you enjoy the book!
Sliger Consulting Inc.
Pre-order The Software Project Manager’s Bridge to Agility and receive a 5% discount: