5 Mistakes to Avoid During Agile Transformation
Agile! Oh, the ability to move quickly right? Not in terms of technology, and software development in particular. Agile here stands for, a method of project management, used especially for software development, that is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans (the dictionary definition). It is sometimes used as a synonym for Scrum, Kanban or other type of frameworks too. What then is an Agile Transformation?
Organizations have for long hinged on traditional processes. However, with time they have come to realise that they require a faster, more nimble way of running the organization to match the pace with which the market is changing. As stated in insight by McKinsey, “for big, successful companies—now or in the past—it’s very difficult to get agile. Those companies have a legacy. They have grown, and most of them have been successful by actually using what we call a managerial hierarchy—a classical way of managing from the top-down, with jobs, with boxes and lines and structures and process descriptions, running and controlling the company from the top. And now, when they try and put some experiments in place to be more agile, to give more space to people, to allow them to be more flexible.” This is where Agile Transformation comes in. As defined by CAST Software Intelligence, “it is nothing but, the act of transforming an organization’s form or nature gradually to one that is able to embrace and thrive in a flexible, collaborative, self-organizing, fast-changing environment.”
But, change no matter how big or small requires carefully measured methods of transition and that applies for Agile Transformation too. For organizations planning to transition, here are 5 common mistakes to avoid during Agile Transformation.
- Considering it a One Day Change
As mentioned in the definition itself, Agile transformation is a gradual process and will not happen in a day. Assuming that adopting an Agile process would just miraculously change everything is one of the most primary mistakes made by organizations. In reality, any change in the existing process would showcase an initial lag in overall performance and productivity as anything new takes time to be inculcated and accepted. Think of Agile transformation in terms of small-regular changes that become a practice and a habit gradually.
- Thinking Just in Terms of the End-goal
Agile is the end goal. But, do you miss out on the deviations at micro level that lead to this change? There you have it, another common mistake. The process shift requires preparedness of the organization and a process for transition. So, think in terms of a smooth migration and nesting rather than just an Agile Process change.
- Leadership-driven Approach
Agile transformation requires a change in the managemental approach and change in leadership strategies. This cannot be done without the involvement of the leadership team. For a smooth transition, leaders must take the effort to understand and take charge to drive a holistic change in philosophy, culture and operations. Agile transformation hence should be a top-down approach rather than being driven by unit managers or L&D team.
- Not Considering the Organizational Perspective
Agile transformation of an organization isn’t just about a team or an isolated function or process. Hence, considering it in terms of just a singular process transition may not give the right outcome nor bring about the envisaged change. While it is essential to consider it an organizational perspective, it is also important to align the business along the course of transformation and if the business is customer-centric, then consider the client standpoint too.
- Foregoing Training
Agile transformation requires lot of knowledge/information for preparations, understanding the process of change, incorporation etc. It also calls for, understanding the business in-depth, learning and tackling the technology hurdles, business and team disposition and issues around it. All of this requires a certain amount of training as well as adept preparations. At times it is good to hire an experienced trainer or consultant who has handled and agile transformation rather than trying to handle it all on your own.
Agile transformation can bring in a change in the smallest aspects like working styles to the way in which communication and processes are handled. So, always create a transformation roadmap to understand the stages in which the organization will evolve, what kind of adjustments and adaptations will be required. Having a roadmap can assist in making the transition, smoother and efficient.
In case you need quick advice or help in terms of change management, Knowzies team is always ready to assist.