The Agile Playbook - A Practitioner’s Guide to Building An Agile Culture


Author: Satish Velagapudi

We often work harder, but not necessarily smarter. The agile philosophy is based on common sense, empathy and open communication. As a Product Owner and an Agile Coach, my thoughts consist of plans and actions that effectively deliver a product or a service.

Start Small but Start Today
An agile mindset includes respect, collaboration, improvement and learning cycles, pride in ownership and a laser-focus on delivering value for the customer. Instead of trying to have the entire organization and all projects follow agile methods to a tee, it works well to start small without re-organizing a lot of things. Having only a few people join the agile mission and transformation program is much less disruptive to your entire organization. We all have to start somewhere.

Secure Senior Leadership Commitment
Focus on garnering the support of a key senior executive sponsor to help facilitate the program’s overall success. Build an established communications structure to facilitate communication from top to bottom. Be sure to identify a capable program manager, product owner, and Scrum Master for end-to-end implementation success.

Empower & Inform Your Team
A product owner and an agile coach usually provides the decision-making authority. The other roles, ScrumMaster and Agile Team, should be empowered to be self-managing and collaborative. As your project is incrementally developed, prototypes, and demonstrations are commonly used to facilitate the development of the product. Changes are made in near real-time and priorities are updated with each iteration. Collaboration and the involvement of all key stakeholders, at the appropriate times, will surely keep your product development on track.

Build a Collaborative Culture
To facilitate a strong culture of collaboration, all the core team members (Product Owner, Scrum Master, Architects, Team Leads) could be physically co-located or connected virtually. If physical co-location is not an option, the team can participate in all daily Scrum meetings through video conferencing to enable virtual face-to-face connections and rapid decision-making.

Acquire an Agile Coach and Train the Team
Trying to implement agile transformation with resources that have little or no experience can greatly impact your team’s ability to be successful. It definitely helps to have an experienced Product Owner, Agile Coach, ScrumMaster, and at least 20% of your team offer agile experience.

Why Your Customers Will Love the Agile Approach
At first, managing a more collaborative process can sometimes be tricky. The time commitments required to execute successful agile projects may feel initially daunting. This is especially true if they were used to waterfall practices where deliverables were much fewer and without as many opportunities for input. However, be patient because it’s worth it!

In the end, your customers will positively respond to agile processes because they get a chance to review deliverables and offer feedback at the end of every sprint. All your agile efforts will result in better quality products, increased efficiency and stronger relationships both in and outside of your organization.

Stay tuned for more blogs from Satish on how to build an agile culture and mindset within your organization. 

About SSatish-2019 copyatish Velagapudi
Satish is a senior leader of product management, user experience, operations and solution engineering at OSI Digital. He brings proven know-how 
combined with technology, creativity and usability resulting in business road maps, execution plans and measurable outcomes for our customers. 
Satish is a certified product owner and Agile Coach with 20+ years of exploring the intersections of technology and human behaviour with varied 
interests in Internet and mobile technologies, innovation & strategy for both public and private organizations.