3 Tips to Accelerate any Agile Transformation

Gimena Aguerreberry
June 22, 2021

An organization’s success is determined by how quickly they adapt and respond to the changing environment. External forces like globalization, digitization, and fierce competition are compressing product life cycles, time to market, and delivery time. They are also making technological advances and innovations faster and more frequent. To handle these changes, organizations need agile teams who can get work done faster and better.

The transformation of an organization into an agile one requires a carefully planned strategic approach. The success or failure of a transition towards greater speed, agility, and flexibility depends on organizational structure, collaboration style, and communication. In the end, the goals of the transformation should be clearly communicated to the entire organization.

Agile and its many benefits need no introduction. One of the main reasons to go Agile is the lure of high product quality and efficiency. The Agile process delivers features quicker because of shorter feedback loops. The entire method is designed to deliver high-quality software more quickly.

And many experts believe that testing is crucial to Agile success or speeding up your Agile journey. However, many organizations put the cart before the horse when adopting Agile. That is, they decide to ‘go Agile’ before defining what Agile is meant to do for them. This leads to frustration, disappointment, and a dysfunctional Agile practice that doesn’t help the organization.

Although, there is no recipe to create a perfectly agile team because every culture and organization operates in a different context, there are certain commonalities that contribute to a teams’ success. Let’s delve into three common practices that will improve some odds of transforming teams into agile and high-performing ones.

Here are 3 Tips to Accelerate any Agile Transformation:

1. Have a clear goal in mind

Many people claim that agile practices look good in theory but are either disconnected from software development in the real world or not compatible with the type of software that teams develop in their organization. This skepticism is rooted in the fact that many organizations adopt agile practices without adapting them correctly to their local environments.

Each organization is unique, and the implementation of agile practices will be different in each case. No article or book will provide the exact adoption process that is perfectly matched to your organization's needs. The adoption process should be guided by the goal your organization wants to achieve. Without a clear goal, your process will never be effective.

The transition from Waterfall to Agile will not make sense unless you have specific goals and pointers for the journey. What do you want your Agile practice to achieve? Adopt the Agile practice by thinking of your organization’s local environment. Let organizational goals drive the adoption and implementation, rather than a textbook approach to the methods.

2. Adopt Best Practices that Serve your Goal

The product you conceptualized and the product you end up with will almost never be the same. You will refine, rework and change your concept as you go. The beauty of Agile is that you can’t foresee or plan your changes in advance, because it is a moving goalpost of working parts.

Change should be implemented gradually. Once you have a clear goal, you should start with the smallest change needed to achieve it. Once your organization accepts the small change, you can continue to improve as needed.

3. Technical Agility

Culture transformation is one of the most critical aspects to agile success. But businesses also need to prepare by investing in the technical agile methods for software agility. Whether it is leveraging automation to make shift-left happen or to invest in tools that integrate with your existing project management software and enable a faster Agile adoption.

When Covid-19 hit, the tyranny of the urgency caused organizations to focus on expanding their digital and online capabilities so that they (and their customers) could survive in a dramatically new business environment. With so little time to determine optimal choices, teams took shortcuts and created brittle systems that are now error-prone and difficult to change, which slows predictability and reduces quality.

Conclusion - 3 Tips to Accelerate any Agile Transformation

Adopting agile is like any process of change. It's a learning experience and a journey fraught with obstacles and challenges. If you know where you're going, how to get there, and what to expect along the way, the people in your organization are more likely to join you and celebrate with you as you achieve each goal.

Making the shift to agile is a certain path to success in today’s fast-paced business world. With planning and shared vision, any enterprise can successfully transform and become a lean, mean, agile machine.

"3 Tips to Accelerate any Agile Transformation" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Patrick Perkins.

Categorized under agile.

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