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BAR : Frequently Asked Questions

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Contact Info: 

Join our slack channel at #agility4all 

Email us with questions at Agility4All@1smc.com  

 

Recommended reading: 

Agile Manifesto

 

What does BAR stand for?

BAR stands for Business Agility Revolution. This is the journey towards business agility

What benefit is the organization seeking from this effort? 

SMC IT is excited to tie the business agility revolution to its core values of innovation, proactivity, and community thus prioritizing work that provides business value, eliminating silos, encouraging cross-functional and self-organizing teams, and providing a space for failing and learning safely. 

 

What am I getting excited for? 

A new way of working and thinking. With increased awareness of the movement towards business agility, we may start to notice some tools or techniques as a simple extension of some very basic ways of working. Like placing people as a priority, understanding customer needs first before proposing a solution, lesser needs of excessive documentation, increased collaboration and transparency, and the ability to actively respond to change as opposed to extreme planning.  

 

BAR referred to culture change. What does that mean? 

Imagine starting your day with a passion to create an impact at the workplace and ending the day with renewed energy after a fulfilling day, looking for more opportunities and more days like today. Imagine a culture where everyone feels included, can learn, collaborate, and challenge ideas productively. An agile culture encourages increased transparency thus reducing autocracy, and control; a culture that has values to guide the behavior, beliefs, and attitudes of people who use them. This is a culture we are trying to build here, at SMC IT.  

 

What is the difference between agile and business agility? 

Being agile is being able to respond to change. Agile is not a prescription that we can take every single day. It is a mindset; Agile only shows us what the underlying problems are, and we have got to solve those ourselves. 

 

Business Agility is the inherent ability of an organization to respond to change. Agile is a bunch of tools and techniques that help us move towards and achieve business agility.  

 

Who is championing the effort? What are they doing to demonstrate and communicate the organization’s commitment? 

Mike Loggins, along with his leadership team along with the help of agilists are championing the BAR. They will, together, demonstrate these new ways of thinking and working and help bring the entire department with them, along the ride! 

 

What is a cross-functional team? 

A cross-functional team is a group of people or teams with different skillsets and responsibilities – all coming together, working collaboratively towards delivering a specific chunk of work. This mindset helps eliminates silos and improves transparency.  

 

What is a self-organizing team? 

The ability of a team to set their direction, with minimum supervision, that aligns with the organizational goals is called self-organizing. The basic mindset behind a self-organizing team is increased trust among peers and between the teams and the management. 

 

How much experience do the champions have with this initiative? Do we have the right skills to be successful? 

Our team of agilists is working extremely hard to better assist with the business agility revolution. Our leadership team is committed to not only assisting their teams with this mindset but enhance their mindsets in the process. With the journey towards business agility, having the right mindset and attitude is equally important as the knowledge of agile tools and techniques.  

 

Are we communicating about BAR with our business partners? 

Absolutely. More details to come.  

 

What is our vendor-partner strategy with this new way of working? 

Collaborating with the vendors is an essential path of this journey. More details to come.  

 

Are we prepared for the failure mindset that Agile relies upon? 

Mike and our leadership team are working diligently to encourage and assist with strategies and communications around fail-fast and learn from its mindset. In other words, inspect and adapt! 

 

What will we do to educate the entire organization? 

There will be several workshops and training sessions around this effort – specifically around the agile mindset, values, principles, and benefits. In addition, as soon as your region gets ready to move forward, our team of coaches will be working very closely with you to build a strategy specifically around your region/needs. 

 

How will we measure progress? 

Your feedback will help measure progress on how we are doing. Are we providing business value, are we creating a culture for everyone to thrive in, are our teams and customers happy are some of the important measurements in addition to our productivity and quality-based measurements. More details to follow. 

 

When do we know if we are “done”?  

Agile is an ongoing journey to get better at being the best. Continuous improvements are a key to creating and sustaining a culture change. 

 

What is an agile coach? 

Think about your favorite team (be it a sports team, or a robotics team at your kid’s school). Every high-performing team has a, needs a coach. Coaching is often “behind the scenes” and hence is not completely visible until it leads a team to be high performing, happy, collaborative team. Agile coaches can be your coach, mentor, teacher, facilitator, or simply your sounding board – whatever you want them to be.  

 

What’s next? 

Look out for ongoing communications regarding how we are progressing on our journey towards business agility and let us know how we can help with your journey. 

 

How can I stay in touch with the agilists 

The agilists, along with the leadership team, are going to be assisting with this effort, every step of the way. Additionally, we have several channels set up for this undertaking: 

 

 

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