Agile – what does it really mean?
Agile is defined as “the process of transitioning an entire organization to a nimble, reactive approach based on agile principles. Understanding agile transformation begins with understanding what it is not: adopting agile software development methodologies”.
What does successful agile transformation look like?
The beauty of Agile, as stated by Mckinsey is that “Agility results in a step change in performance and makes it possible to overtake born-agile organizations. Highly successful agile transformations typically delivered around 30 per cent gains in efficiency, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and operational performance.”
But, a successful agile transformation requires complete investment, trust, and most importantly – time. Achieving an agile transformation, or making your team efficient in agile can take months, or even a couple of years.
How can you begin to run a successful agile transformation?
#1 Have the right vision (plan + prepare)
A strong strategy will set you up for success in the long run. Ensuring that you have mapped out your vision, values, and how you’ll achieve this enables you to start your agile transformation with the right priorities in mind.
Transformation is a top-down approach, and to roll out a digital transformation you must have a robust process in place. Within this, it’s crucial that you ensure that there is buy-in across all layers of the organisation. Large digital transformations can be held up by a lack of confidence which is a by-product of poor planning and communication, so, planning and preparation should be front of mind before rolling out the transformation.
#2 Invest in the right tools/team to make it possible
This is a no-brainer, but ensuring that you have the best digital tools (and top talent) to execute the agile transformation is crucial. Experienced individuals who can lead from the front enable you to run a seamless digital transformation, so scoping out a variety of skill sets who are well-versed in agile transformation will make the process easier.
“Agile recognises that technology alone is not a solution, and this could not be truer for digital transformation. Only once a team has defined the business challenges, objectives and practical use cases should any new initiative begin. The agile methodology ensures you always start with the ‘why’ and the entire approach is aligned and responsive to business needs.” –Fintricity
One of the principles of running a successful agile transformation is heavily focussing on the implementation. Looking at quick wins and obvious obstacles to mitigate should be your first port of call; once these have been established you can then create a scalable infrastructure to deal with the larger, more complex problems that will arise.
#4 Use data
If you aren’t using data to inform the next stage (or reflect) on your transformation, then you aren’t operating in an agile way. As mentioned, to be agile is to continuously improve, and to do this – data is king.
What impact agile has on digital transformation
The benefits of using an agile approach to digital transformation are why it’s trusted by so many organisations. The beauty of agile is that it encourages continuous improvement whilst also delivering business value, which enables digital transformations to have pace, and ultimately inspire the workforce.
Digital transformation is all about improving the way that business is done and future-proofing your organisation. Agile supports this and is the key to innovation!