” There are no shortcuts on the road to Enterprise Agile transformation “
As people, we are all habitual beings. We follow habits that are ingrained in our DNA since childhood. Right from the way we start a work to the way we respond to anything, we follow habits and rituals.
When these habits are up for an overhaul, things go out of control. The same happens with organizations that wants to transform itself using Agile methodology.
Agile (adjective) means to be able to move quickly and easily. In the software development industry, it refers to the ability of an organization to respond quickly to change so as to sustain and succeed in an uncertain environment.
Agile software development is a common term used to address all the principles, practices and values, as specified in the Agile Manifesto.
Enterprise Agile Transformation refers to the organizational change, including external and internal factors for improving software development productivity, faster delivery to market and improved stakeholder satisfaction.
Enterprise Agile Transformation calls for enormous change in a way an organization, its people, their teams, processes, tools and stakeholders work together. There is a massive shift in the habits that we have got accustomed to. This makes Agile transformation a matter of serious concern for all organizations.
Change is scary. Especially, a radical shift in operational routines can possibly leave an organization fazed. It is up to the senior management to exercise change management tactics that will hold the organization from going haywire fearing change.
The leadership team must pass the message of why the organization is adopting Agile on a wide scale and what benefits it aspires to achieve from it. In short, it should explain to all the stakeholders what benefits they individually stand to gain from the transition.
Once the agile transformation process is set in motion, a team with definite roles must be designated to monitor the safe transition of people, processes and technologies.
Agile calls for a collaborative participation of all these three core elements. The team must ideally include members from the higher management and also project managers who have been running the projects using traditional processes. The idea is to inspire confidence with their presence.
Immediate-goals that can be easily achieved through Agile practices help in establishing faith in stakeholders. Once the trust is established, the Agile methodology can be scaled across the organization at all levels for maximum efficiency.
If needed, use cases of success stories explaining how projects or sprints were quickly completed using Agile practices can be distributed across the organization. This will foster quick adoption rates and minimize any concerns that stakeholders could have been having earlier.
Agile transformation and its implementation is not an straight road. There will be several conflicts and concerns which needs to be acknowledged to iron out the future implementation.
To ensure a smooth workflow, feedback from the stakeholders should be collected and analyzed for corrective measures. In most cases, concerns are raised by stakeholders who are yet to grasp the new way of Agile functioning. Training, pilot projects, review meetings, etc. can help smoothen such inconsistencies.