I’m very excited to bring you highlights of new PPM and Agile content from CA World. This post, part one of two, discusses some Agile blogs on CA Communities that you may not know about. Part two will show you what’s in store for the powerful relationship between CA PPM and CA Agile Central. As a preview, check out the presentation “Pleasing Customers with Portfolio Management that is Both Strategic and Agile” here.
Even if your PPM practice is traditional, it’s imperative that all PPM Practitioners are well versed in all aspects of the PPM-Agile ecosystem. As a Services Architect in the field, I’m seeing a definite uptick in Agile-related questions and hybrid models. One of my favorite things about Agile is that it’s totally customizable to any organization, group, team and work style.
When I was a CA customer, I transformed my PPM operations team into an Agile practice with great benefits that were actually quantifiable! I thought you’d like to know how we did that, as it can help you in your journey. Here are the initial, informal steps we took as we learned about Agile. We decided to only use it to manage our daily workload and stayed within all as-is PPM processes like Demand, Timesheets, Allocations and Status:
- Educated the team with Agile training (free online)
- Created a simple construct with ceremonies, agendas and measures
- Broke out the Post-it Notes and a white board
- Piloted sprints 0 – 5 with biweekly lessons learned
- Measured delivery and communicated success
- Started to gain support from leadership and created a scalable framework for other groups to leverage if they chose
The impetus for the PPM team’s initial experiment was questions about Agile from the business and the IT (E)PMO teams. At the time, the organization was not ready for change, and the concepts didn’t have executive sponsorship or strong influencers. However, my team wanted to get ahead of this trendy topic to position ourselves as thought leaders. We wanted to offer new value to our customers, to show them that PPM and Agile don’t compete with each other, but instead they complement each other. With a positive attitude, a little ingenuity and very low investment, we proved our value beyond supporting and enhancing the as-is PPM processes and system.
Expanding on our success, we consulted internally with other groups looking to move in the same direction for both internal operations and customer-facing programs. Our hypothesis was that we could understand the intricacies between our culture and Agile best practices, and then propose a hybrid: PLC and Agile PLC for Financial Management, Status Reporting, and Resource and Portfolio Management. Working with the existing (E)PMO, we achieved these integrated policies, artifacts and compliance standards; plus, we were able to quantify and report on our delivery stream. This is not a formal case study, but, to wit: In our first year, we lost 42% of our team headcount, yet we showed higher delivery of prioritized enhancements and projects than in the previous year. Because of the priority and sprint rigor baked into our Agile model, we showed value and started scaling to other groups. We were now seen as internal leaders, and we plugged into a formal organizational readiness program for top-down Agile transformation that included tool adoption, documented processes and KPIs, formal training, and more.
It’s often said that transformation must come from the top, but it can also start at the ground, even with just one person; at any level. I started by searching YouTube, Google and Twitter for free training. I’m a firm believer that people drive change and the success of any organization; and as PPM Practitioners, we can seize this opportunity to become leaders in this hot arena, even if our organizations don’t have the skills or aren’t asking for it yet. At the very least, the new knowledge will improve our PPM acumen.
If you’ve read my blog series, you know I view community involvement as indispensable to success, and this is another great option.
Below are links to some CA Agile blogs. This is a great way to educate yourself and step into the broader community.
CA Agile Insights Blogs Link: