Agile is a term that is generally loved by executives but hated by developers. If done right, agile can make everyone’s life a lot easier. But in many organizations, it is done wrong and eventually leads to frustration.
In this short report, you will learn why agile is done wrong in many organizations and why they should instead strive for agility.
Why your Business needs Agility?
Gone are the days when ideation to implementation take months and years. Businesses are using iterative, fail-fast and lean approaches to experiment new ideas very quickly, at a low cost.
You need a way to test if something works by putting it in front of your customers – without spending too much money and time. Agility helps you do that.
That doesn’t mean every part of your business must be agile. But at the least, the core of your business – the one that offers a competitive advantage – must transform to agility.
The (wrong) way it is done in many companies…
Most companies start their agile transformation in engineering teams. It is the best place to start because the delivery excellence is rooted in those teams.
But this is just one piece of the puzzle. To exhibit true agility, the organization must look at the big picture and transform all relevant teams like QA, operations, business users to work in an agile mode.
This is where many organizations go wrong. They focus more on agile transformation in the engineering teams and less on the others. It may offer a “false positive notion” of being agile but doesn’t transfer the true benefit to end users. Ultimately, everyone is frustrated.
This is one of the important reasons why developers and users think agile doesn’t work!
So, what is Agility?
Agility is the ability to go faster from ideation to delivery using adaptive planning, automation and a robust platform for this system to thrive.
To put this definition pictorially…
- Agile Mindset – It all starts with the mindset. It takes a lot of effort from leaders and managers to convince their teams on the benefit of agility. The business users must be included in the cultural shift as well
- Agile Process – This refers to all the process and methods used to create things faster. Agile methods like Scrum, Kanban etc. and agile architectures like Microservices are included in this category
- Agile Tools – This refers to tools and techniques the team use to deliver things rapidly. Continuous delivery tools, project management tools like JIRA, DevOps tools etc. fall under this category
- Agile Platform – This refers to a highly scalable and reliable platform that houses the delivery from agile teams. Cloud computing platforms fit the bill primarily because of their on-demand, scalable and cost effective model
The Agility Blueprint
Here is a blueprint for you to start the agile transformation in your organization.
- Identify candidates for agility – Find out areas in your core business that benefit from agility. Engineering teams normally benefit the most and they are a good place to start
- Create transformation roadmap – Based on the candidates, make a roadmap for transformation using the 4 paradigms described earlier
- Execute transformation roadmap – Commission a team to help with the agility transformation. The important thing is to constantly look for things that don’t work and tailor based on your organization needs
- Reflect, Rinse and Repeat – Agile transformation happens in stages. It is iterative, just like what agile recommends. What is more important is to continuously improve and apply the lessons learned in subsequent steps…
- Agility is critical for your business because the competitors are moving faster. Slowness makes innovation a less useful endeavor
- Most companies make the mistake of focusing too much on engineering teams for agile transformation
- Agility is the ability to go faster from ideation to delivery
- Agile transformation must include all impacted teams like QA, operations and end users
- Agility at scale includes an agile mindset, process, tools, and a scalable platform
- You can start with this blueprint for agile transformation – identify agility candidates, create a transformation roadmap, execute it and continuously improve
I hope this report gave you some insight into the need for agility and some ways of doing it right. We encourage you to go through the following articles for better understanding.