This story will be useful for those organizations where agile coaches are pulled project by project based on the fact that a project has funding to pay Agile CoE or not
If you are working on a large organization where leaders shouts “Agile” but agile coaches are hired project by project, you can change it or leave. Continuing like that won’t bring any results and won’t make any difference any time soon. It will only increase your stress and the complaints about your performance. You are not making my organization agile quick enough! At the same time you might be thinking “Why am I wasting my time here when I can work in places that get what I do?”
On these organization, agile projects are like “private schools”. Only the ones that can afford the cost of an agile coach and a scrum master can do the cool things. The others, sorry, you have to go to the public schools with less funds and overloaded-underpaid teachers. On the opposite, there is the Finish model for schools. Private schools and tutoring are illegal. Rich people that want their kids to have good education need to invest in the public schools and help every kid get better education. Good teachers are available for all. See the difference there? On one model, a small percentage of people raise the bar on education. On the other model, everyone has access to high bar education and the whole country evolves.
Organizations will not become agile project by project, coach by coach if agility is an option weighted by funds. Agility of the organization, any lesson learned and any improvement made will not be sustained if the next project will be waterfall due to lack of funds to have a coach. Hence, we need to democratize agile, we need to make coaches available and accessible. We need to integrate agile practices in waterfall projects. Nothing prevents a waterfall project to use Kanban board and visualize the work, or have daily standups or plan using Story mapping. Coaches role will change to help the whole organization, not just a privileged group that can afford it. Coaches will work with practitioners like Scrum masters, Project managers and Managers. By training, advising, consulting and coaching practitioners, coaches spread their reach and make agile less scary, less “pushed”, less “dictated”.
What about the cost? Ah yes, the cost centre model of paying people, the core problem of so many large organizations! When there is a will, there is a way. Many organizations have figured this out. One way to approach to it is for the leader of that organization to fund the agile efforts (coaches, trainers, etc). Like this, the leader sets the tone and priority on agility for everyone. Other methods are also created, but the core of this problem is: Is the Leader invested in what he/she is asking their people to do or is it just words a leader needs to say these days?
Want agile? Democratize it, Demonetize it, make it accessible and available for all. Abundance thinking has shown to be better than scarcity.