When a business begins the transformation to Agile Development, its really hard to understand exactly what skills the organization needs to adapt to the new way of working. Unfortunately, many businesses assume that they are ready to go once they incorporate a basic understanding of the Agile framework they want to use.
Then they quickly learn that isn’t the case.
Speak with any Agile coach and you’ll discover a litany of skills unusual to most IT organizations including servant leadership, coaching, facilitation, and negotiation skills in addition to the more expected programming and testing skills.
A transformation to Agile Development is going to require a list of new skills that you are not only going to have to acquire to get the transformation started, but you’re also going to have to figure out how to:
- Continue the skill growth after the initial “burst” of training.
- Train new employees that join the organization after the transformation has begun.
- Modify your hiring approach to zero in on candidates that possess the fundamental personality traits that make them easier to train.
So, what kind of skills are we talking about and where can you get them?
- Agile Development and Scrum Fundamentals
- Detailed understanding of Scrum
- Coaching skills – we recommend Coaching Agile Teams as well as the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster class
- Facilitation skills – we recommend The Facilitator’s Guide to Participatory Decision Making as well as the Advanced Certified ScrumMaster class
- Writing, Sizing, and Slicing User Stories – we recommend Mike Cohn’s User Stories Applied and Agile Estimating and Planning
- Agile Software Development – we recommend going to the masters: Jim Shore and his book The Art of Agile Development and Robert “Uncle Bob” Martin’s Clean Code and The Clean Coder
- Agile Testing – we recommend Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams
- Scaling – we recommend (mostly because we were doing stuff like this at Siemens a long, long time before scaling frameworks were a figment in anyone’s imagination) Large Scale Scrum: More with LeSS
- Project Management – we recommend Create Your Successful Agile Project: Collaborate, Measure, Estimate, Deliver
- Agile Management – unfortunately, we can’t recommend any of the books that are out there today. However, we CAN let you in on a little secret. Jim Schiel, our company’s founder and a manager with nearly 30 years of experience managing teams is working on a series of books as we speak. If you would like to know more about this series, please contact us!