This post is a preview of our eBook: Leading an Enterprise Agile Transformation. Download the full eBook here.
A recent survey by Scrum Alliance found that more than 70% of Agile practitioners report tension between their teams and the rest of the organization. The reason? They are following different road maps and moving at different speeds. Whether your organization is in the early stages of adopting Agile methodologies or you have multiple teams running sprints, non-Agile influences will eventually cause your success to plateau. The breakthrough opportunity is a true, Agile transformation.
There are four key elements you must emphasize as an Agile change agent. Ultimately, you need stakeholders to be on board with Agile, teams prepared for adoption, excitement throughout your entire organization, and continued improvement of your Agile practice. Education, building momentum, adoption, and continuous improvement will transform your organization and reap the full benefits of Agile.
The first step in moving toward an Agile organization is educating stakeholders and setting expectations. As an Agile Methodology advocate, you are introducing an entirely new way of working. Team members will need to understand what this shift means for them and the potential benefits for the team and organization. They will need to know how to speak Agile and become comfortable using the new terminology to organize their work. The education phase is a proactive opportunity to get out in front of the chatter and side conversations that a major change can bring with educational tactics such as Lunch & Learns, Agile coaching sessions and collateral on best practices.
Adopting an Agile framework can start as a grassroots effort or come as a mandate from senior leadership, but the end goal should always be to build better products that actually provide value to users and the organization. Your efforts in leading an Agile transformation are to kindle the initial spark and build momentum so that people have the opportunity to experience Agile's benefits for themselves. Momentum can be built by socializing Agile success stories or handing out Agile “swag” like t-shirts.
Successfully building momentum toward an Agile transformation will happen by supporting Agile adoption and empowering teams. This does create new dynamics with executive reporting, as well as tension with non-Agile teams, which is where your leadership will make an impact. As the transformation takes place, you will see senior leadership build trust in the methodology and in response, allow teams to self-organize around a problem instead of micromanaging it. The new level of transparency that comes with Agile requires that expectations are set with executives during the transition to Agile.
Once your organization enters the optimization phase of an Agile transformation, the learning and testing that happens every day in an Agile environment lends itself to doing more of what works and building upon past success. This is crucial to solidifying your success and will keep the buzz and excitement around Agile going. A transformed organization means a transformed culture with empowered teams providing value to end users.
This is just the start on how to lead an enterprise Agile transformation. To learn more, download our complete guide to learn how your entire organization can embrace Agile – from the development team, to marketing, to HR, and beyond!