Agile is not a thing you buy, Agile is a thing you are

Two decades before Agile Methodology was developed with the aspiration to have“light” processes for software development lifecycle and intend to have simplicity in practices, priority to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software and self-organizing teams, that reflects on how to become more effective.

Many people may think that agile is just another software development process but Agile has many offerings depending on our needs and there is a lot more to agile than just a process, or just a set of practices. Agile (or agility) is more of a mindset – a different way of thinking.

Bringing all these thoughts to reality, many organizations are now adopting Agile as an imperative system to deliver their products. But does these organizations have transformed, how are they changing the mindset of the people to react faster, what practices are they putting in place to transition from conventional way-of-working to a new means.  Organizational influences can impact a project, whether it uses an agile or a traditional phased or gated approach. Organizational and team culture can block a smooth transition to an agile approach.

Change is speeding up and high performers are more agile than low performersHowever, most companies admit they are not agile enough and there are barriers to increased agility which lie in the organizational culture and have to start at the leadership level to accelerate change and increase inter-dependence & complexity.   There is a true need for dynamic ability to sense opportunities and threats early and often, to quickly identify and solve problems and to change the enterprise’s resource base as a call to the response.  

Being Agile requires both the ability to recognize the change in the environment along with nimbleness, innovativeness, and tolerance. Companies must have the ability to strategize in dynamic ways; precisely identify changes in their environment; test possible responses; and quickly implement changes in products, technology, operations and structures as a whole.

To do this – transiting to agile must begin with the right message along with the nature of the changes occurring in the organization’s internal and external environments with a clear, well-defined way. Organizations that do not take the time to understand these changes may either implement a change that does not fit the new challenges they face or fail to change altogether.

In addition, the most effective way is to start with small success stories. Starting on a large, complex project as a trial run for agile, a process that is new to organization; is probably not the best idea at all.

Integrate teams to remove conflict of interest to have more collaboration and instead of having a single team leader, the companies distribute leadership to among all the team members of the respective project since agile organisation encourage their employee to be part of the entire system and whole team is responsible for moving the ball towards the target, sometimes they succeed completely, sometimes only partially – and that is the true meaning of ”Scrum” itslef.   Continue to learn and identify flaws to deliver that fit for purpose, agile teams are not restrained by an inflexible plan and always check how things are going and ready to accept change in directions.   Everyone in the team has to be on the same page and mentally healthy, it can only mean more efficiency and effective delivery.  

Move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset, set up an incremental work-delivery environment and avoid anything that gets in the way of forming teams, establishing governance and creating a metrics & tooling strategy.

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