Agile transformation is the process of transitioning an organization to a nimble, reactive approach based on agile principles. The goal is to breathe new life into a business by creating an environment that embraces creativity and innovation, empowers employees and reduces unnecessary layers of management.
“Technology has never moved faster than it has today,” says Paddy Lemons, principal consultant at Burendo. “From smart phones, to ChatGPT, to driverless cars, to drone delivery – our everyday experiences and daily interactions with products and services are unrecognizable versus just 20 years ago. To enable organizations to thrive in this environment, they must prioritize agility as a strategic imperative.”
Like all major business undertakings, agile transformation is complex and requires significant investment. Leading an agile transformation process can therefore present a number of challenges.
Here are six tips for successfully leading agile transformation.
Truly commit to agility
Your personal commitment to agility is one of the most critical success factors in creating the change you desire, says Lemons. “Your team will mirror your behaviors, so the importance of genuinely adopting an experimental mindset cannot be overstated.”
Nominate agile champions
Nominate some agile champions who understand agile and the benefits it brings but also understand the goals of the organization’s transformation, says Melissa Kirby, senior consultant at Burendo. “These champions, who work alongside the rest of the teams, can help spread the knowledge of agile, answer any questions and shut down any doubts.”
Be accountable and listen
It’s always useful to appoint a lead for the project to ensure it meets the required outcomes and sticks to timescales, but it’s equally as important to work with those who are impacted and might end up using the system, says Chris, marketing coordinator at manufacturing and processing machinery firm MattressTek.
Embed security into agile
If your company is going through an agile transformation, it’s more important than ever that your security team is embedded inside your software engineering team, says Chris Bender, VP of security at ClickUp. “Security and software engineering must become one-in-the-same, and security can no longer just point out risks but needs to be involved in helping to find solutions.”
Leadership support for agile
Leadership must sell the vision and goals of agile transformation, ensuring they transform the culture of their organization alongside their ways of working. “Your leadership must empower individuals to reach their potential, making agility not just a methodology but a fundamental ethos that guides the organization toward resilience and innovation,” says Lemons.
Give people time and training
If a team is expected to adopt agile ways of working, then the people will need to be given the time and training to perform the roles well, or else they won’t be motivated, team morale will drop and the squad will have limited success, says Kirby. “If you don’t take steps to win over your people, then you’re always going to face resistance to change,” Kirby adds.
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