One of the biggest issues of Enterprise Agile is knowing what’s going on across the enterprise from the vantage point of upper management (or even middle management). The most common strategy seems to be trying to standardize everything so that you can pretend the numbers are comparable across the organization and “manage by spreadsheet.” Such an approach is comfortably familiar to managers in many companies, but tends to squeeze the Agile out of Enterprise Agile, If practiced heavy-handedly, this becomes just another form of command and control management, leaving a legion of identical-looking squads of programming resources death-marching across an endless desert of product backlogs.
Wily managers realize that it’s not required to enforce uniformity in order to scale. They know that “normalized story points” hide more information than they reveal, that not all important data can be expressed in numerical terms, and even numerical data may be more valuable when not added or averaged.
Tracking animals is the art of using environmental clues to discover the presence of animals and to understand their movements and habits. In this workshop we’ll explore some of the techniques of animal trackers, and apply their lessons to the problem of nuanced scaling. We’ll learn ways to know what’s going on at the team level without burdening the teams with bureaucratic reporting. We’ll spot the hidden gaps, acute dangers, and chronic malaise that might surprise the unwary. We’ll gain the information we need to accomplish control of the Enterprise without being controlling.
*Note:* No teams or managers are injured in this session. We’re tracking to gather information, not hunting.