Do you invest in your employees? "Of course, we offer a lot of bonuses!" Great, but there's another - way more valuable - type of investment too: training, coaching and support! Discover why this kind of employee investment matters in this blogpost.
I often encounter a lack of investments in employees. More specifically, in most positions.
As a Scrum Master, I am closely involved in teams that work with the Scrum framework. I notice that employees transitioning to the Scrum Master accountability often get lots of training: a Scrum Master training (with certification), facilitation workshops, visual facilitation (and a set of expensive markers)...
Unfortunately, Product Owners are often not entitled to any training. But they are the ones that should focus on delivering value to the customer as soon as possible. They should learn to detect value, distinguish head from side issues, think about valid proof of concepts...
They should also be able to obtain the necessary skills to negotiate priorities, learn how to say no, and build towards a consensus about the product vision.
Other team members might also benefit from additional training but are out in the cold. How should they use those newly introduced tools because of the Agile transformation? Or how about new ways of collaboration, like pair programming and test-driven development?
How can you expect your employees to support this radical mindset switch if you lack this kind of employee investment and only provide a limited amount of training? Everyone should know how they will fit in this new way of working and, more importantly:
Your employees are the key to success in a change at this scale. Make them feel appreciated and consult them during this volatile period. Without their buy-in, the result of your Agile transformation will be a watered-down version of what you initially envisioned achieving.
"What happens if we invest in our people and then they leave?"
"What happens if we don't, and they stay?"
Make sure they have enough ways to operate in their new roles by allowing external training, for example. Don't assume that they will eventually integrate into their new role without making the necessary investments. Their work will change with the other changes an Agile transformation brings, so support them everywhere you can.