“I have no transparency, I get an invoice with one six-figure number every quarter and they cannot even tell me what Casper is working on. Not only that, the developers complain about a lack of specifications yet the business analysts are writing specifications and I hate specifications! Ultimately, what they deliver is always late and does not work unless a hero is working on it.”

That sums up the situation, as described by the head of digital communications who is on-shore with his product owners, 12 months ago.

His near-shore group of 50 people that were equally frustrated, exasperated him. They too however, wanted to be successful and feel proud.

So when we brought the two groups together and asked them to separately list who was responsible for what on a project, the two lists were amazingly different. Imagine “thinking” you are the product owner, yet the near-shore team does not have your name in the project team!

Then someone shouts “but why are we doing this s**t project?” No one could answer other than, “because Mark wants it”.

So, it was clear: We needed to know why projects were being done, the entire group needed transparency on who was working on what and we needed to fine-tune the Agile skills to provide visibility on progress.

And today? The transparency is so good, that they can react immediately they see a risk to a planned Must-Have and take measures. “I cannot believe the ScrumMaster has not reacted to this. This is a Must-Have for the timebox; clearly it is at risk. Where is the commitment?”

The difference? Well, like all businesses, they still have issues, but they are now seen in advance of delivery and there is certainly no reason any more to rely on a hero.

Yet, how does Agile help save time? Read about that next

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