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Interview with Robin Dymond at Agile 2008

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In this interview with Robin Dymond at the Agile 2008 conference, Robyn gives an overview of Lean, how it can help take Agile to the 'next level' and why organizations that fail to change will not have successful Agile teams. Robin describes an organizational mismatch between traditional hierarchies and team structures.

There are about 3 or 4 big companies, big enterprises that have adopted Agile. Publicly, we know about those big British telecommunications company, big portal web company and company in financial services and each one of those early adopters was very focused on adopting Scrum at the team level. We had a lot of teams and we had a lot of training going on in those organizations and a lot work to build Scrum teams and get everyone working on that plane.

From that point of view, it's very successful. It improved their delivery timeframes, projects were getting done a lot quicker and people were happier working in those environments. But now, all of a sudden you have all this retrenchment happening in all those organizations where Agile is getting pushed the way side or is becoming less important to deliver things in this way. Part of that is because of the power structure and the current organization, which is still based on the waterfall method, and the Agile way of working, which is based on teams. This is a challenge to the Agile community to figure out how do we organize leadership.

He believes that organizations will need to reorganize around teams to get the most out of Agile.

I believe that, for Agile to be successful in most organizations there needs to be a change in the organizational structure. How far organizations will go with that is an open question, but the best Lean organizations in the world, have really organized around this new way of working - around the process of delivering value, as opposed to the functional silos of "I do this, I do this, etc." As Agile is fairly new to the mainstream market, there is going to be this issue that businesses are going to struggle with.

This interview is well worth your time if you are thinking about the long-term success or failure of your organization's agile adoption initiatives.

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