Coaching Agile to a Waterfall Mindset

Scrum is ultimately about people, and more specifically having those people (hopefully) on the same page. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Some are rooted pretty deeply in the Waterfall culture. To that end, here are some helpful reminders when approaching individuals/teams who aren’t all-in on Agile just yet:

1. Changing people’s behavior cannot be achieved through force.

2. People and teams will only make changes when they have an intrinsic desire to do so.

3. Your role is not to force individuals to adopt Agile practices, but to make them aware of their Agile potential. Show them there’s a better way.

4. It’s important to remember that your message may not be received immediately. Change may take time.

5. Consistent and repeated communication will become a habit, increasing the chances of your message being received.

6. Don’t assume that your team members can read your thoughts. You know what they say about assuming…

7. It’s necessary to communicate your ideas and expectations when necessary. Scrum is transparent, and your ideas surrounding Agile should be as well.

8. Your effectiveness as a leader goes beyond your ability to speak. Actions, say:do ratio, attitudes, willingness to listen/empathize all go a long way.

9. Your greatest strength lies in your ability to listen and understand the needs and perspectives of your team members.

10. A hybrid approach to change is the best one. Engage Management. Engage Stakeholders. Build alignment. Then engage your teams.

The sooner you accept and implement these approaches, the sooner you’ll get buy-in and alignment toward Agile in your org.

By embracing these principles, you will foster a more positive and productive working relationship with your team!