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Step 3: Crafting Your Agile Adoption Strategy

The information found in the figures in this cheat sheet is prioritized by effectiveness. Therefore the first practice in the figure is the most effective practice for increasing the business value. Get your feet wet with the first practice and after that is successfully adopted come back and take another look at the remaining practices and clusters related to your business value.

I strongly suggest that you should adopt the practices you choose as iteratively as possible. Armed with the list of practices, here is how you can successfully adopt the Agile practices on your list:

  1. Start with an evaluation of the status quo. Take readings (even if they are subjective) of the current business value(s) you want to improve.
  2. Set goals that you want to reach. How much do you want to increase the business value? What is the time frame? Take a guess initially and modify it as you know more through experience.
  3. Pull the first practice or cluster off the list you created.
  4. Research the practice[2]. Decide if it is applicable or not by matching the context and forces to your working environment. If the practice is not applicable in your environment go back and pick the next one off the business value diagram.
  5. Once you have determined that the practice is applicable, seek additional information in how others have successfully adopted and adapted this practice. Things rarely go by-the-book, so find resources that have “been there, done that” to help you out.
  6. Periodically evaluate whether the business value you are addressing is improving. If it is not, adapt your practice for your environment.
  7. Go back to step (1) and re-evaluate your business value. If it needs more improvement (i.e. you still have not met your goal set in (2)), consider adding another practice or an entire cluster to resolve the issue. If it has met your goals then move on to the next one.

Your tests for success are your goal values that you set in step (2). In step (6) you check your readings after adopting a practice. This is a test of how effectively the practice(s) you adopted has already met the goal set earlier. This loop—set a goal, adopt a practice, and then validate the practice against the expected goal—is a test-driven adoption strategy.[3]

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