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Efficiency hack: Inspect & Adapt your Agile Transformation progress



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3 minutes


Jeroen Nollet


We all know "Inspect & Adapt". But what if I tell you that, when you Inspect & Adapt your Agile Transformation progress, the magic happens? There's more to this way of working, and here's what (& why)!

In general: about Retrospectives

Scrum is the most frequently used framework in teams these days. In Scrum, you reflect on how the previous development iteration (Sprint) went in a Retrospective. You inspect what went well and what went wrong or where there is room for improvement. 

Think broad: from tools that were not working as they should to friction in collaboration between team members affecting the team. In a Retrospective, you try to find a structural solution to these problems so the team can work more efficiently. 

Unfortunately, this rarely occurs at a corporate level. Yet, the organization could also benefit from an overarching retrospective. By doing so, everyone gets a glimpse of what's going on in other domains. 

Inspect & Adapt

Before starting your Agile transformation, you don't know what obstacles lie on your path. But suddenly, everyone reflects on what blocks them from working more efficiently. We even encourage them to find solutions by themselves. 

#1 Inspect

That is why you benefit from regularly requesting feedback from your teams and inspecting which organizational impediments they cannot solve by themselves. The management can play an important role and catalyze removing these. 

That can scare you or even leave you frustrated: you suddenly seem buried in problems that block everyone in their work. This Agile transformation brought more problems than it helped us. But these problems were already present in the organization. Previously, they did not arise to the surface because no channels were available.

#2 Adapt

Try to set those frustrations aside and actively listen to these problems. But foremost: analyze how they block us from doing your job more efficiently. What are possible solutions, and what do we think they will bring us? This last question will be significant in deciding the order in which you want to start solving them. 

Possible issues when trying to Inspect & Adapt your Agile Transformation

I notice a lot of companies starting with the Inspect part but never continue to Adapt. That's normal because many problems are complex and not easily solvable. Some examples:

  • The creation of a CI/CD pipeline
  • Automating your tests (unit tests, QA tests, integration tests, regression test suites...)
  • Providing the Product Owner with more accountabilities to make decisions more independent

Removing these impediments will request heavy investments, both on the budget side as from your employees. But in the long run, the ultimate goal remains to create a better product for your users, be efficient in this process, and outplay your competitors. 

Finally, "Inspect & Adapt" is more than just identifying impediments in the process. You can also regularly inspect the data you use to measure our Product's progress. Be critical of the current data. Are they still relevant? Do we need to track additional information? Or maybe some have become obsolete and can be removed?

It is a broad subject but worthwhile to introduce in your organization. Learn to find improvements and discover possible first steps on how to solve those. 

In a nutshell: Inspect & Adapt your Agile Transformation progress

"Inspect & Adapt" is a complex topic. Be critical of the data you use to measure progress and know that it might become irrelevant one day. You might need to find other data to continue measuring your process. 

The start of an Agile transformation can feel overwhelming. Many things come at you all at once, so you don't know what data you want to inspect.

Start simple and agree to regularly come together and reflect if it is still relevant and why. 

Finally, embrace the feedback coming from your teams. They finally found a channel to communicate their impediments. Collaborate with them to find solutions, estimate their cost, and decide if and when you want to solve them.

Tips, tricks and other insights? Read our blogs or contact us to meet!

about the author

Jeroen Nollet

Jeroen Nollet is Scrum Master and Agile Delivery Lead at The Value Hub. Certified as a Professional Scrum Master (level lll) and Professional Scrum Product Owner (level lll), he coaches teams in their Agile transformation challenges. By deeply examining team dynamics and designing practical solutions for specific problems, he helped out many customers in the scaling of their Agile workflow before. His technical background as a Java Developer turns out to be one of the biggest assets too in working with technical teams and issues.

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