How do you maintain an agile transformation

Podcast Ep. 131: How Do You Maintain an Agile Transformation? With Quincy Jordan

How do you maintain an agile transformation
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Episode Description:

This week on the podcast, Dan Neumann is joined by frequent guest of the show, Quincy Jordan, a Director in AgileThought’s Innovate Line of Service.

The last time Quincy was on the show, they spoke about the excursions you take along an agile journey and what those look like. Today, they’re taking this discussion one step further and exploring how to maintain the work that has been done along an agile journey.

On the “other side” of an agile transformation, we want the work that we have done to stick. In this episode, Quincy shares his key tips for maintaining an agile transformation once it has gotten to a place of sustainability, how to shift from a transformation team to an environment that has agile Champions, why you should be implementing Communities of Practice, and the role that leaders play in communicating and instilling the practices formed during the transformation.

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Key Takeaways

  • What are transformation teams and how do they fit into maintaining the agile transformation?
    • A transformation team is critical to the health of an agile transformation
    • Transformation teams are almost like Scrum Masters to the transformation itself
    • Once the thinking has changed and you’ve arrived at the part of the agile journey where you’re only looking to maintain what you’ve achieved, you don’t necessarily need the transformation team
    • When disbanding the team, it is important to have agile champions to lead and guide the Communities of Practice (which are key in maintaining the way of thinking around continuously learning [and unlearning] based on the current needs and problems you are looking to solve)
    • Members of the transformation team can join the team of agile champions or become agile champions for other teams of practices
    • Be cautious in disbanding the transformation team too soon as you may revert to the old way of doing things
    • Have a succession plan for your agile champions to maintain the new way of thinking
    • Quincy recommends 3-4 agile champions for a single Community of Practice 
  • The role communication plays in agile transformation maintenance and continuous learning:
    • Communication is beyond critical to maintaining the transformation — especially coming from leadership (Quincy recommends no more than monthly communication from leadership)
    • An important aspect that leadership has to remember is that everyone does not know what they know (gaps in communication occur when leadership assumes that everyone knows what they know(
    • It’s important for the leadership team to reinforce the new way of working and what it needs to look like
    • Reinforce desired behavior by highlighting “bright spots” (i.e. when you see the behavior you want, point it out)
    • Trust and build empathy (when trust is absent, the “ugly truth” of what’s happening in a project gets buries vs. when trust and empathy are present, the whole team works together toward solving the problems that arise)
    • Maintain and bring transparency into the work
  • How to reinforce the ways you deliver and maintain a value-driven perspective:
    • Ideally in the transformation, the organization has adopted a value-driven perspective vs. merely tracking
    • To maintain this, have dedicated teams
    • Shift the mindset of having one specialist for one job to one of building an overall team competence
    • Implement rolling forecasts with quarterly revisiting
    • Maintain the perspective of funding so that you don’t revert to this notion of going to go down to a granular level (i.e. figuring out how much a particular thing is going to cost 12-months down the line between a 2-5% margin)
    • You want to maintain a way to fund investments and evaluate that funding earlier on (and on a quarterly basis)
    • It is good practice to leverage OKRs to maintain a transformation (because you’re being clear in a simplistic way on what your objectives are an how you’re going to hit them)
    • Closely align your portfolio based on your current dedicated teams and any planned dedicated teams

Mentioned in this Episode: 


Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar.]

Intro: [00:03] Welcome to the Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought. The podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach, and agile expert, Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann: [00:16] Welcome to this episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. I’m your host, Dan Neumann, and excited to have you listening to us today and the us involved today is Quincy Jordan, director at AgileThought’s innovate line of service, and want to thank you again for joining Quincy.

Quincy Jordan: [00:33] Hey Dan, happy to be here as usual, always enjoy being on the Agile Coaches’ Corner.

Dan Neumann: [00:38] Last time you were here, a couple episodes back, we were talking about excursions along an agile journey. So not so much a transformation point to point linear, but some of those excursions that people make along their journey. And in this one, we’re going to take that journey after it’s gotten to a point where one can look and say, yeah, that looks like something’s transformed. It looks like a new place, an agile place. It let’s explore what it takes to maintain being in that place, because it’s not like a car ride where you go somewhere and you’re there and you stay, you parked the car and you don’t have to worry about it. Journeys are different. Maybe you can talk about that.

Quincy Jordan: [01:17]
Sure. And well, maybe we can even back up a little bit further than that and say, uh, well, what does it actually mean to have transformed? Uh, and so my perspective and definition on that is the thinking basically has changed. Uh, when, uh, people go to make decisions, the decisions are now being made based on what was desired to be transformed into. So, um, once that has taken place, and as you said, it’s, it’s not a linear path to get there. There are many things, many excursions as I put them, uh, that it takes to get there. And, uh, and so when you have, I don’t want to say arrive, but when you have accomplish the point where decisions are now being made, based on the desire way of thinking, you have to maintain that it doesn’t just stay that way because you were able to get things that way. Uh, and so when we start thinking about, well, how do you maintain that way of thinking, how do you maintain the transformation that has taken place? There’s, there’s quite a few things involved with that. And I’m really excited to talk about that today.

Dan Neumann: [02:38] You talk about the transformation. So when, when appropriate decisions are being made in an agile way, or, uh, you know, we’re valuing people in interactions, we’re valuing working software more than, than the documentation. Okay. So let’s say, um, we’ve gotten there. One of the things we’ve talked about, I believe in a past is about transformation teams. So that seems like that makes a lot of sense in a, in a transformation place. How does that fit in or not with once you’ve arrived in the maintenance?

Quincy Jordan: [03:11] Sure. So, uh, sort of transformation team is, is critical to a transformation. Uh, it’s critical to the health of a transformation, uh, that teeny, you really just can’t do it without them. Uh, they are almost like the scrum master of the transformation itself. Uh, the thing is once the thinking has changed and once you’ve come to that part of the journey where now you really just need to maintain, um, what you have achieved, you don’t necessarily need the transformation team anymore. Um, so they really can disperse, uh, to a large degree. Now, there are what are referred to as agile champions that lead and guide the communities of practices that would have been established during the transformation, uh, and those folks, those roles need to stay in, in place, uh, because the communities of practice are really key to maintaining the way of thinking and not only maintain the way of thinking, but to maintain the aspect of the thinking that says, we want to continuously learn and unlearn based on what our needs are based on the problems that we’re looking to solve. Um, and, and that’s really a large part of the thinking that hopefully, you know, has, has been achieved during that transformation.

Dan Neumann: [04:52] Yeah. I’ve seen, I think more than once, and I know I’ve heard about it in the industry a lot where, um, uh, transformation hasn’t stuck. So I think, uh, the whole Sisyphus thing, pushing the rock up the Hill, if you don’t get it over the Hill, it’s going to roll back. And absolutely, there’s definitely a risk of that. You, that an organization doesn’t get to a new normal, a new state of performance with agility and it rolls back. So disbanding, the transformation team too soon, uh, can be a risk, but yet once you’ve made it, then you’re saying, Hey, the agile champions and making sure that you have the continuous momentum of the agile champions and continuing to foster new learning and bringing in new ways of working, that’s pretty critical then.

Quincy Jordan: [05:43] Yeah. And, and there’s nothing wrong with members of that transformation team, uh, joining the team of agile champions or becoming agile champions for other communities of practice. Like there’s, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but the role of the team that has to support the transformation itself, that part should no longer be needed. Uh, once the thinking has, has truly changed in taking root. Uh, now there’s also just as any other organization, you should have succession plans in place for agile champions, and you definitely don’t want to end in, end up in a scenario where you have, let’s say one agile champion for one community of practice, because that is, you can almost start counting the days down when that’s going to dissolve. Uh, so you want to make sure that there’s a good succession plan in place for those agile champions. And, you know, I usually recommend anywhere from three to five agile champions for a single community of practice, uh, just so that there is some level of redundancy and it also just helps with different ideas. You know, I mean we, you know, and as all thought, like we collaborate on a lot of things and, uh, you know, and we’re usually pretty open about that, you know, with each other and transparent, and we get a better result in the end, uh, because we have different ideas, you know, coming to the table and different perspectives. So, um, having that succession plan for the adult champions is, is really important.

Dan Neumann: [07:23]
No. Yeah. And, and I’ve, I’ve seen a couple of different models. Certainly I’ve seen the single agile champion and they get too busy or they decide to seek their fortunes elsewhere. Something happens, community dies. I’ve also seen where they’ve had three to five, but it’s kind of been a game of, uh, I dunno, hot potato where okay, you take this month’s and then you take the next one, then you take, and somebody drops the ball and the game’s over at that point. And so the, the difference is what you’re describing is an actual team where they collaborate together. They don’t go well, I’m too busy, so, Hey, Quincy, why don’t you do this? And, yeah. And it fails at some point, so cool. An actual team of champions, three to five, good number you get, um, creativity and a lot of energy and mutual support.

Quincy Jordan: [08:10] Yeah. Yeah. If you have one, as we mentioned that’s too easy for it to dissolve, you have to, it’s too easy for, sorry. It’s too easy for one to say, uh, yeah. If you could take it this time, because I’m too busy, uh, and then you really effectively back down to one, uh, and so three tends to work best so that even if you do run into that, you still have two that are actively, uh, going that incident, the intent, but that’s the mitigation of that risk.

Dan Neumann: [08:43] That’s pretty cool. You want to talk about, uh, the way things are communicated about, so in transformations, there’s when they’re, when they’re successful. I have seen a lot of communication here’s yes. Here’s the reason to change. Here’s how we’re changing. Here’s successes. We’ve had, here’s some challenges. Here’s what we’re doing about frequent communication. Sometimes it’s emails, as well as, uh, at one place did quarterly town halls about their agile journey with lots of people. And what does communication look like, especially from leaders in a place where we’re focused on maintenance and continuous learning?

Quincy Jordan: [09:21] Absolutely. So the communication is beyond critical to maintain the transformation, uh, and especially coming from leadership, as you mentioned, it could be quarterly. It could be, uh, every other month it could be monthly. I probably wouldn’t ever suggest anything more frequent than monthly, uh, from leadership, but, uh, but it is very important for leadership to communicate in that way. And so when leadership is, uh, I would say the most important thing probably for leadership when it comes to communication is leadership has to remember that everyone else does not know what they know. And there there’s a human tendency at times to, to think that other people know what you know, um, and especially for leaders. Uh, and so you end up with gaps in communications with the organization, because there are things that the leader or leaders know that have not been communicated very well. And so if there’s frequent, but not too frequent communication, like I said, maybe every 30 to 60 days or so, um, you could do quarterly, like you mentioned, but I think quarterly might be a little bit too much, uh, depending on the level of the leadership core, quarterly

Dan Neumann: [10:49] Too much, too much, too, too much, too much time, too much time, too much. And, and in that, uh, in that particular instance, I had mine, there were, there was still email w you know, more on the monthly cadence, et cetera. And this was more of a, um, a spiritual event, if you will, where we’re getting 300 people in the room and we’re talking about it and we’re celebrating the team. And so it was, uh, uh, it was to compliment, I think, what you’re describing with some of the, uh, other channels of communication, including email and, and, and smaller group, verbal communication. Yeah, for sure.

Quincy Jordan: [11:23] Yeah. And, and so it’s really important for that leadership team to reinforce the new way of working, uh, to, to reinforce what the thinking has become and what that thinking needs to look like. They can reinforce it by demonstrating it themselves, uh, whether that is, uh, communicating specifically around that thinking, or they can, uh, as you said, they can not award, but acknowledge teams that are doing really well, uh, celebrating the small wins. Uh, and so those, those things, they go so far and they go, they go a long way, you know, with teams, with people and it, it encourages them. And it also helps to build trust. And you want as leaders, you want that empathy to be built with your teams, knowing that, you know, day in, day out, you know, they’re, they’re working on things at a task level, they’re doing their part to deliver value on a regular basis. You know, those things are extremely important.

Dan Neumann: [12:38]
I think. Uh, so, so two thoughts came to mind, one, the award concept, uh, I have seen actual, in addition to the acknowledgement, they, there’s been like a little trophy for teams that have done super agile, awesome stuff. And it’s a team award. It’s not an individual award. And I’ve, uh, I’ve seen that. I, I believe it was effective, um, in reinforcing the desired behavior. And that’s an example in the book switch by chip and Dan Heath, which is about changing things, especially without positional authority, they talk about a concept of bright spots. Like when you see the thing you want, whether it’s a child’s behavior or a professional’s behavior, a team’s behavior, you say, that’s there, that’s an example of the thing we want and you celebrate that. And so those bright spots in agility, um, you know, maybe it’s something where we thought something was going to work. We tried it really quick. It didn’t work and we quit. Right. Cool. We, we learned let’s stop.

Quincy Jordan: [13:38]
And I’ve even heard of, I haven’t actually, I don’t think I saw it, my assumption. I’m not sure I’m not confusing something. I heard. What’s something that I saw, but, uh, there was an environment where they had, uh, I believe it was like the greatest failure award, um, or something to that extent. And, uh, you know, whoever like had literally like the biggest failure, uh, you know, actually got the award and it wasn’t a negative thing. It was actually a positive thing because the intent was that meant they really tried something, you know, in, in likely they tried something really hard. Uh, and so the process of that trying and learning and, you know, the whole fail fast and elect to always add, learn faster, you know, with that, uh, can also go a long way and help the organization to further deepen its ability to learn unlearn relearn like that is super critic.

Dan Neumann: [14:52] Trust. I think you’ve touched on trust. And you mentioned building empathy in organizations where there’s not trust, and maybe you haven’t arrived at your completed transformation, or a Waypoint along your journey if you don’t have trust, but when it’s absent, so much stuff gets buried. Uh, the, the ugly truth of what’s happening on a project gets buried people, um, will pretend like the project is not up the Creek without a paddle. And, um, and I don’t know if that metaphor translates real well to the rest of the world, but you know, when the projects really in trouble, people bury it and try and make it look like, Oh, it’s not in trouble. We’ve, we’ve got it under control. As opposed to saying, here’s a problem. We need to talk about the problem and find solutions for the problem.

Quincy Jordan: [15:42] Yeah. And that is one of the things, you know, because we are talking about maintaining agile transformation and we’re not specifically talking about, uh, maintaining Scrum environments, uh, which it could be, but that is one of the advantages in my opinion, to using a Scrum framework in your agile transformation, uh, because when done properly, scrum is a lot more transparent, you know, than say, Kanban, uh, it’s Kanban is great. It’s, but it’s very easy to hide things in my opinion, uh, incumbent.

Dan Neumann: [16:21]
We should put a pin in that one to circle back. We can have like a, uh, we could have a, who’s more transparent knockdown drag out between Kanban and Scrum, like the old celebrity Deathmatch on TV. I’ll grant you that one on, I want to think about it, but I’m intrigued now. So let’s, we’ll parking lot. That one that could be the future future thing to visit. Yeah. So you said it, and when you say Scrum, are you talking about scrum at the team level as well as scrum for the transformation team? Or how, how were you seeing that?

Quincy Jordan: [16:48] I’m at the team level. Not, not for the transformation team. Yeah. The scrum at the team level. Um, and so it helps with that transparency. It helps to mitigate things being buried, you know, in, in the way that you mentioned. And so, um, so if that transformation did involve Scrum teams in likely it may have involved more than Scrum teams. Um, but if it did, that is one of the good ways to bring that transparency and help maintain that transparency. Um, if he did have Kanban teams, you have great transparency into the work, uh, you know, for sure, but if there’s some nefarious intent to cover things up, it’s a little bit easier, uh, quite a bit easier. And, um, as far as that, but, uh, but that level of transparency in general is really good and healthy and something to be, to be maintained regardless of the approach.

Dan Neumann: [17:49]
So let’s shift to kind of reinforcing, um, some of the ways we deliver and one of them, we talk a lot about delivering value and focusing on that versus um, you know, my waterfall days we’d have a project plan, let’s say 3000 hours. And by golly, if we were 1500 hours into it, we were, we were halfway done, baby. And, uh, we, we probably had delivered zero working software because we were probably somewhere in the early development activities, maybe the middle, right. We wouldn’t have had any actual working software. We’d have some code that usually compiled.

Quincy Jordan: [18:26]
But your project plans look good.

Dan Neumann: [18:30] Oh, it’s green. Yeah. We are half halfway through the time halfway through the forecast of hours. I was green baby.

Quincy Jordan: [18:35] Yeah. And, and I don’t, I don’t mean to, to knock project plans. Project plans are not necessarily bad depending on what you’re applying it to

Dan Neumann: [18:46] Well, and, and it’s fair to plan. I mean, if you’re not planning in Scrum, that’s, that’s a problem. We should talk about that. So, um, I think it’s the way who we treat the plans that, that, uh, is maybe a difference there, but, well, let’s talk about the value driven perspective, right?

Quincy Jordan: [19:04] Yeah. So, so one of the things that, uh, hopefully has, should have been part of that transformation is getting the organization to adopt a value driven perspective over, uh, Trish and really tracking. Now, it does not mean that tracking is not important. Tracking is very important. And when I say tracking, I’m referring to ultimately when it comes down to it, how much is it, how much does it cost to deliver something? And so how do you do that? You know, how, how do you have that value driven perspective of we’re tracking at the, uh, level of leadership that has to make decisions around investments and funding, uh, basically at the portfolio level, how, how are those decisions being made to do that? And so one of the things that is key, uh, is maintaining dedicated teams and I’ll know, some environments will say, well, we can’t have dedicated teams because we just don’t have enough people in, you know, we need to have, we need to have this individual across three different teams. Uh, sure. And that maybe, and I would also say that I, I think you have some gaps, some holes in your transformation, uh, if, if that’s where you land, now you could land there just because as a company financially, you just can’t make a different decision at that point. That’s just where you are and that’s fine, but I would still hold that you not fully transformed yet. You have not arrived at that place that we’re decisions can now be made in a sustainable way that you can now maintain your you’re still along that journey.

Dan Neumann: [21:01]
Yeah. And to me, that’s an example of the mindset not having shifted to somewhere else. So, uh, a, if you have the one specialist who does the one thing, your bus number is one, like, I don’t know if people have notice there’s a global pandemic stuff happens. Having one person who can do stuff is bad, right. They might get a great offer from somewhere else because we’re in a pandemic and people are looking for talent. Right? And, uh, one of the things that Mike Guiler, one of our colleagues has been, um, kind of advocating for in a situation we have is the traveler model, which is that one person, then isn’t the Doer of their specialty. Their job is to go to a team, help somebody else learn how to do it shoulder by shoulder to shoulder, and then leave. So your specialist, isn’t the Doer, your specialist is effectively the, the trainer. And then you see other people who have a level of competence in that thing. And there might be spots where you need the specialist to come in. Cause it’s the value to train. There’s so much effort to return that, that one really weird thing. They can’t transfer all the way, but you can get people competent at different techniques. So, um, shifting the mindset to that person has to do it to that person’s job is to help other people do it. I, I think is a, an example of the way mindset can shift, especially, um, around specialists and the way teams are formed. Hopefully that wasn’t too much of a tangent for folks, but I just want, like the dedicated team concept can work. Once we start to think about what do we do at the specialists and it isn’t to split them 10% across 10 projects, because they’re the person who can do the thing.

Quincy Jordan: [22:46] Yeah. And, and for me, I’ll pause just a bit because that actually started having me thinking about traveler versus coach. Um, so, but maybe we’ll talk, talk about that one a little bit later. I mean, yes. Not on this podcast, but on another, but yeah. So when we’re, when we’re looking at, you know, the tracking and you have, you have the, the dedicated teams and the specialists that roams around, you know, she put a travels, uh, but if we have dedicated teams and when I say that extended teams, often times, we think in terms of the actual team, and that is important in, it does make a difference, uh, based on the team’s composition, but for the purposes of forecasting, from a funding standpoint, which is just that, and, you know, spoiler alert, the forecast is not accurate. That’s why it’s a forecast. It’s like the forecast is a minute. I know there’s a certain tolerance that is a certain margin error that is acceptable with the funding, you know, because as you said, you know, the pandemic happened, like who, who knew, and in 2019, someone knew, but who knew in 2019, you know, that, uh, everyone’s budgets were going to get like completely crippled for almost an entire year, uh, because of a pandemic that has never happened before in our generation, you know, at all in our lifetimes.

Dan Neumann: [24:20] And there are companies like zoom and Microsoft teams and all their budgets exploded because they absolutely needed what they had. So yeah. So forecasts are forecasts. That’s where I love the concept of rolling forecast with frequent revisiting frequent, maybe being quarterly because it’s, you know, it changes, but not every day, hopefully. Um, yeah. So sorry, little tangent, but yeah. Yeah.

Quincy Jordan: [24:46] So looking at the forecast with funding, and you mentioned about like the rolling a rolling concept and revisit, which we’ll take is good as well, but when, when we’re forecasting and we’re forecasting based on dedicated teams, we’re really looking at dedicated roles. So not a specific team composition where it’s Mary Jo, Bob, and, and whoever, uh, we, we could do that and that’s good, but because people do leave and in change and so forth, uh, that somewhat makes it a bit more difficult. But if, you know, in general that a team is going to have one scrum master one product owner, and, uh, let’s say four developers and maybe two testers, two QA folks, or something like that. Uh, then that’s what you could force forecast based off of. And if you say, well, yeah, everything was different. However, uh, for the, I dunno, 15 teams that we have on average, you know, their, uh, velocities range from 25 to 40. All right. So that’s a big range, but again, these are forecasts, you know, you’re not holding, you know, holding 18 to any of this, you’re using this information at this point just to forecast out. Okay. So if we know roughly team size, uh, and we have some, some rough order of magnitude of what a team can get done in a particular sprint, then now we can forecast out, you know, a longer period of time because most organizations really want to forecast 12 months. That’s what they really want to do. Uh, and the rolling concept works good once you’ve done that part. So because they need that really big number to forecast for the whole year. And I know sometimes that goes against what we in the agile community, you know, we’ll advocate for. However, it is still a business and the business does still have to run and the business, they need to look out much further than what, what we sometimes like to accept in the agile community. Uh, because at the end of the day, if the company does stay open, it doesn’t matter how effective the teams are. Yeah. And,

Dan Neumann: [27:17] You know, you’re, you, the business are making long-term investments, you know, whether it’s machinery or computing power. And of course the cloud gives you so many less diversity there, but you’re hiring people. I don’t want to get hired for a company. He was like, yeah, we were pretty sure I’m going to need you for this quarter. And we’ll see after that, right. Once a quarter on your employment, I mean, that’s maybe in a super high trust environment, somebody will sign up for that. And people do that’s contracting, right. You know, three month engagement with likelihood to extend for an independent contractor. That’s not terrible.

Quincy Jordan: [28:00] But it’s called, it’s called contracting for a reason though. Right.

Dan Neumann: [28:04] Right. And there’s the financial, so, um, I think what you’re saying, right? So forecasting based on teams with a, um, a reasonable belief that this is the composition, this is the pace, this is the size of the work. And, um, you know, when, when people get promoted or move into a different role, the cost structure, isn’t going to change dramatically. Exactly. It’s a tweak and a twiddle here. Um, but the forecast should still be reasonably effective for planning.

Quincy Jordan: [28:36] Exactly. And, uh, man, I really hope I’m not going to get in trouble for this, but so I’ll, I’ll give a personal example. So when I was much younger and this was before I got married and I started saving up for ring.

Dan Neumann: [28:50] Oh yeah, you’re in dangerous water. My wife doesn’t listen to the podcast. So maybe you’re the same

Quincy Jordan: [28:55]
And, uh, start saving up for a ring. And the reason that I did was I came to the conclusion. It didn’t matter who I was gonna marry, it was probably going to cost the same either way. So I just started saving up, like whoever it is.

Dan Neumann: [29:15] So I thought you were just going to get a kick pinky ring Quincy.

Quincy Jordan: [29:17] You know, but in, in similar, you know, concept, you know, uh, and here here’s part of where I’m going with that, you know? So, so the question gets to ask, well, w what are you going to get in six months? What are you going to get in 12 months? What, what will the team deliver in that period of time? And I mean, you can know, you know, to a degree, but, uh, I mean, six months, you can definitely know better than 12, but, uh, but it depends on what you prioritize. You know, I mean, that’s a large part of the point in, uh, portfolio management is, I mean, you’re trying to decide, like, what products do you want to push, you know, within that time period in which, you know, that time period could be much longer than 12 months for that matter, but it really just depends on what you prioritize, but how much will it cost? It’s roughly going to be about the same. You just have to decide what it is that, you know, who’s going to get the question asked. That’s pretty much what it boils down to. Uh, so, but you want to make sure that you’re maintaining, uh, that perspective of funding so that you don’t revert back to this notion that we’re going to go down to a granular level and figure out how much a particular thing is going to cost in 12 months within a two to 5% margin of error. Like that is just highly unrealistic and environments of uncertainty. If, if you’re building the Zack same thing. Sure. If you’re, you know, if you’re, I don’t know, Toyota and, uh, or some car manufacturer, and you’re producing X number of cars in that year, you know exactly what that model is. The model is not going to change over that year. Right. You can figure that out. That is no problem whatsoever. Um, and there are plenty of approaches that you can take to do that. But if you do not know exactly what that thing is, then that model’s not going to help you much. And so you want to maintain, uh, a way to fund investments and re-evaluate those that funding as you put it, uh, you know, very well earlier on a quarterly basis, it’s also good to combine, um, OKRs, into that objectives and key results. That is another good tool technique for maintaining a transformation, uh, because you’re, you’re being very clear in a very simplistic way on what your objectives are and how are you going to measure hitting those objectives with your key results. So that is another, uh, nice way, um, to maintain the new way of working the new way of thinking the new way of being, uh, within the company. And you also want to make sure that you closely align your portfolio based on your current dedicated teams in any planned dedicated teams. So if you know your growth plan is that in the first half of three Q, that you want to start expanding, and you’re going to add, let’s say, eight new teams, right? So we take the exact same approach. We know that those eight teams will typically have a composition of the following, and we can easily forecast that out. You know, that once we hit a three queue, we’re going to need a little bit more budget. And we plan in forecast for that.

Dan Neumann: [33:24] Well Quincy thanks for taking time to share on how to maintain an agile transformation or an agile journey. Once it’s gotten to a point of sustainability, we talked about, you know, shifting from a transformation team and agile champions to an environment that has agile champions. Uh, we talked about how communities of practice support that, how leaders can communicate some frequency and some cadence concepts there as well as then focusing on value driven perspectives and forecasting versus maybe some of the traditional ways of tracking. So I want to thank you again for sharing on that. Absolutely. And thank you. And, um, a couple episodes back, you said you were doing some research and I’m kinda curious, uh, if what’s on your continuous learning journey, how’s that going?

Quincy Jordan: [34:13] Sure. Yeah. So, uh, some of the research that I’ve been doing just, you know, centers around how, uh, different ways of helping leaders to senior leaders, uh, C-suite SVPs, uh, to really not only embrace an agile mindset cause many have, uh, but I think many still struggle with the right way to balance between the traditional things that senior leaders have to consider, which they still do, um, such as portfolio management and funding and investment and so forth and, and helping them to support agile ecosystems. Uh, and so, and I know we normally, you know, get to this part of the park podcasts and, and so what are you reading? And so that’s what I’m reading, I’m reading the research that that’s what I’m doing. Um, and, uh, partly just wanted to share that so that people don’t feel bad. Like if, if you know, they’re, they’re in the room and they’re like, Oh, well, I haven’t finished reading that book, but you’ve been doing a ton of research, you know, on something.

Dan Neumann: [35:18] So that short form is okay.

Quincy Jordan: [35:20] Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. So that’s what I, that’s what I’ve been spending quite a bit of time researching,

Dan Neumann: [35:27] Does watching Ted lasso on Apple TV count is a continuous learning journey.

Quincy Jordan: [35:32] I don’t know if I knew who or what that was. I could tell you.

Dan Neumann: [35:36] Yeah. So, uh, which actually, um, it’s pretty interesting. So he’s a, an American football coach. He goes over to, to Europe to train, to coach up a European football team. And it’s interesting some of the style and the approach, it’s kind of interesting to think about, um, the behavior that’s modeled and some of the techniques that are used. So, um, actually that, wasn’t what I was going to share, but it’s, it’s kind of interesting. So, um, of course it’s an Apple plus TV, whatever, you know, it’s, it’s in that ecosystem. So I guess if you’re not, if you’re not there, you know, that’s what they’re trying to use to hook people in. Yeah. Maybe for another day we can, I’ll find somebody who’s watched Ted Lasso and maybe we’ll do an episode on that. Well, well, thank you, Quincy, for, for joining us, appreciate you sharing the research that you’re doing, uh, from, uh, from shorter forms than, than long books. And, uh, it’ll be awesome. We’ll, uh, we’ll get back together again sometime.

Quincy Jordan: [36:35] Thanks for having me again, Dan, always a pleasure.

Dan Neumann: [36:38] Anytime.

Outro: [36:41] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions and information expressed in this podcast are solely those of the hosts, man, the guests, and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips for this episode and other episodes at

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