The concept of higher agility has been the answer to demands of the market- that belies documentation-driven, heavyweight software development processes moving at a snail’s pace. But are CIOs aware of all that it entails?
Enterprises of all sizes and across a wide range of verticals and countries have adopted agile frameworks in the hopes of generating highly responsive products and services processes- to meet market demands, build a more collaborative work environment, reducing response times for their teams, boosting transparency, and a lot more.
Implementing agility across an organization is a challenging undertaking. It necessitates changes that cannot be performed by a few simple steps or by using a plug-and-play package. A meaningful long-term transformation needs time, patience, and complete buy-in from the entire organization.
Here are three hard truths regarding agile transformation that should be recognized by organizations to ensure agility becomes the culture of the teams
Leadership is frequently a roadblock to agility
When a business is trying to become more agile, one of the main issues is that leadership can frequently be a roadblock. This is the most common difficulty that agile coaches describe, according to Scrum Alliance and the Business Agility Report from 2020.
Lack of buy-in and support, reluctance to change, an anti-agile attitude, a lack of alignment between agile teams and leadership, a lack of understanding, and a deeply established organizational legacy regarding management styles are some of the reasons behind this.
Any leader pursuing an agile agenda should realize that full executive buy-in is required for success and that they, too, will need to adapt their working and thinking styles.
It takes time to become agile
Leaders and companies as a whole have unrealistic expectations about how simple an agile transformation can be. It’s likely that existing organizational systems took years, if not decades, to lay the “brick-by-brick” foundation. As a result, it’s understandable that revisiting and modifying that foundation would take a massive amount of time.
True agile transformation requires patience and perseverance since it is based on profound structural and cultural changes. A long-term commitment to an organization’s business and cultural goals is required to fundamentally transform the organization’s structure.
According to the Business Agility Report, in 2020, 65% of businesses interviewed said they were less than three years into their agile transformations. Those three years are crucial. Companies that have been practicing agile for three to five years have a higher level of agility maturity — on average 34% higher than those in their first year of implementation.
Not all agile coaches are the same
Business leaders who want to engage an agile coach to assist their company to become more agile should do their due diligence. Without any genuine experience or credentials, anyone can put “agile coach” on a business card or add “agility coach” to a LinkedIn profile and advertise oneself as an expert. Only 33% of respondents reported possessing at least one coaching certification, with only 18% of them being master-level certificates, according to the 2021 State of Agile Coaching Report, a collaborative study effort from Business Agility Institute and Scrum Alliance.
In the end, hiring an unskilled agile coach will almost always result in the organization being in worse shape than before. That is why going the additional mile to do the assignment is worthwhile.
It is critical for everyone in the business, from the C-suite to entry-level employees, to go into an agile transformation, understanding how agility works and does not work. The organization will be infinitely more likely to succeed on the agile journey if they recognize these three hard realities.