2 Minutes with Abiodun Osoba
By Abi Walker | 13 November 2018
1. How did you come to agile/business agility?
Business agility for me means enabling the entire business (beyond Technology) to deliver customer value faster, better and with healthy engaged teams leveraging the Agile/Lean mindset. It means being able to respond quickly to market changes while innovating ahead and anticipating customer desires. It also means leading through extreme uncertainty and disruption.
I have over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications, banking, retail, wholesale, technology and software industries. I started off as a technical contributor, then as a Business Analyst, Project/Programme Manager and I successfully led digital programmes in three countries after which i discovered Agile as a better way of delivering projects, products and services.
I am now an Enterprise /Executive /Organisation/Leadership Agile Coach for several client organisations. Because of my dedication to innovation and operational excellence, as well as my continuous interests to facilitate the continuous improvement culture In organisations I decide to set up a company called The Agile Advisor.
My main focus was to engage with other leaders and colleagues who are on the same transformation journey, share their knowledge and learn something new they can apply themselves.
2). What's your current job title?
I am an International Lean/Agile Coach & Trainer for Enterprise Transformations at The Agile Advisor Global.
3). What do you actually do?
I focus on delivering practical and enduring results and equipping my clients to grow and lead. I partner with clients to put recommendations into practice. My implementation specialists work directly with clients over long periods to help develop workforce skills, drive operational improvement, and apply new working methods.
I continually seek new and better ways to serve my clients and aim to anticipate their future needs. I encourage my people to create and pilot new capabilities and tools, and I invest our firm’s resources in these efforts:
- Agile Advisors turn ideas and strategies into prototypes and applications quickly—from overnight visualisations to enterprise-level applications
- Technologists and Agile Advisors develop rapid prototypes, build custom software and apps, and embed recommendations directly in clients’ existing technology platforms
- Data experts and Agile Advisors maintain advanced data models that allow our clients to generate insights and make better, faster decisions
- Turnaround executives from Agile Advisor Recovery & Transformation Services work in all regions and industries to help set distressed or failing businesses back on a course to long-term financial health
4). What's the biggest issue you see in your community at the moment?
The biggest issue in my community is Culture.
I typically attend a few conferences each year and this year has been no different. From speaking with clients, many great people it's rather clear that the most common and impactful challenge is getting organisational buy-in. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had where organisations are facing the same challenge.
Organisations need to wake up and realise it takes more than buy-in from software development, software quality and project management divisions. Scrum team members still face having multiple managers demanding information and things get done instead of respecting/understanding the process and allowing the ScrumMaster to do his or her job. There are managers who fear that by no longer having control over resources, they lose their power and there are managers who simply struggle to make the adjustment. It takes time and encouragement from the ScrumMaster and other team members to get used to this change. Small teams of no more than seven team members as recommended by Scrum Alliance can help give people control and build their confidence.
The bigger challenge is correcting the organisational culture transition. Training shouldn’t be limited to those who will be in the Scrum teams. The entire organisation should have training. By training everyone, not only will everyone have a better understanding, but they will understand the importance of the process. It will show your Scrum teams you’re fully behind them and support the new process. With the training, you need to show resources how this process will help them.
5). Which books would you recommend?
- One up Trivia: Take Trivia to the next level by Ken Weber
- The Lean Start up by Eric Ries
Abiodun Osoba is Founder of The Agile Advisor Global, in Canada
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