What Is AMI and What Do We Do?

If you are reading this article, you are at the AMI website. But did you ever ask, what is AMI? What does it mean?

AMI stands for Agile Moravia Initiative. Hmm, ok, and…?

Exactly. 

The Agile Moravia Initiative is an activity that was started by Robert Šilar in 2018. His motivation was to create an environment to help RWS Moravia keep up with the rapid pace of technological change. To enable innovation, collaboration and value creation at unprecedented speed, scale and impact. To transform RWS Moravia into an agile enterprise engineered for the digital economy.

He also determined four pillars on which is AMI based, respecting the Modern Agile principles:

  1. Make People Awesome

Steve Jobs used to ask his colleagues, “What incredible benefits can we give to the customer? Where can we take the customer?" In modern agile, we ask how we can make people in our ecosystem awesome. This includes the people who use, make, buy, sell or fund our products or services. We learn their context and pain points, what holds them back and what they aspire to achieve. How can we make them awesome?

  1. Make Safety a Prerequisite

Safety is both a basic human need and a key to unlocking high performance. We actively make safety a prerequisite by establishing safety before engaging in any hazardous work. We protect people’s time, information, reputations, money, health and relationships. And we endeavor to make our collaborations, products and services resilient and safe.

 

  1. Experiment and Learn Rapidly

You can’t make people awesome or make safety a prerequisite if you aren’t learning. We learn rapidly by experimenting frequently. We make our experiments “safe to fail” so we are not afraid to conduct more experiments. When we get stuck or aren’t learning enough, we take it as a sign that we need to learn more by running more experiments.

 

  1. Deliver Value Continuously

Anything that isn’t delivered isn’t helping anyone become more awesome or safe. In modern agile, we ask ourselves, “How could valuable work be delivered faster?” Delivering value continuously requires us to divide larger amounts of value into smaller pieces that may be delivered safely now rather than later.

 

The strategy of AMI is to unify and standardize the agile development process. We started to think about how to achieve this. During our implementation research for SCRUMMF (SCRUMMF is an opinionated implementation of the Scrum agile framework, and as such, is flavored differently from vanilla. It is a view of how Scrum should be applied in our particular circumstances. Nevertheless, it is based on the official Scrum Guide.), it became clear that some teams need to handle requests with a desired lead time shorter than what is provided by the two-week Scrum Sprints (where the lead time can be up to four weeks in worst-case scenarios). Kanban was proposed as an obvious solution, but after some research, we discovered that its practical implementation, when done properly, is comparably more difficult than the implementation of Scrum.

The concept that Scrum is the ideal application of Kanban in software development was presented by Jakub Kminek, so the decision was made to create a process that would optionally allow the requirement flexibility of Kanban, while still remaining Scrum at its core to keep it readable for other teams. Since it does not include some of the major ideas from Kanban, and is thus not an enhancement of Scrum with Kanban, we have not adopted the typically used name Scrumban. Instead, as it is a specifically adjusted Scrum and should represent the idea of one shared process for all, it was named ScrumOne.

So, now we have the AMI and ScrumOne, but how does it all look in practice?

I am part of the Scrum Masters team located in Brno, so we started with implementing ScrumOne in the teams in which we work as Scrum Masters. Later, we’ll implement ScrumOne in other teams to standardize Scrum use among all software development teams.

AMI may be hard work to standardize development and processes, but it’s also fun, educational and knowledge-spreading.

Therefore, you may have heard about AMI even if you are not part of a Scrum team yet. We are trying to spread Agile knowledge in a fun way, so we organize educational Agile screenings—where we have the opportunity to watch videos and discuss theories, ideas and knowledge about Agile and its implementation in practice—and we run interactive games that focus on team cooperation, process improvement, the benefits of the retrospective and more.

It also means you will continue to hear about us in the future. But for now, thank you for reading. 

Have courage and be kind.

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