At NPR Digital Media, we¹d tried Agile on the cheap -- do it yourself, learn from your mistakes, go for it -- and we hit the wall. We wanted more. We wanted to provide the teams with the luxury of focus that would deliver amazing audience experiences and we got more than we bargained for.
This presentation is the story that begins when two executives, one leading technology and the other leading product, asked their direct reports ³do we really want to do agile? Are we ready to singly dedicated teams and leave them whole?² and their direct reports answered ³yes². That was in April of 2010. What followed was coaching and more coaching for 25 people together: management, UX, Design, programmers, QA, and product owners. What followed: beautiful product, executive discomfort, management discomfort (what is my team doing? How do I know what their doing? I want to approve everything); constant reworking of how we work (new meetings, different meeting, new release cycles); failed and successful external vendor and contractor work (in that order); odd conversations with finance on capitalization (we don¹t know what we¹re going to build); losing and regaining of faith in agile and more coaching; why a few champions are critical to keeping the faith because it waivers; our long road to executives embracing failing fast; how we learned to bring others into the fold; the looks in the elevator when we talked about agile; and, the moments of success when agile seeped into other working group outside of Digital and into Communications for crisis management; Progamming to develop a new radio program; and, the Library for everything.