Agile transformation
Project Management

Agile transformation in a nutshell: Getting things done

date: 5 November 2020
reading time: 5 min

In our first article for the Agile series, we discussed how to prepare your company for the Agile transformation. Today, we’re going to take you one step further and give you some tips on how to actually get the job done — the right way.

Every transformation is different and can pertain to various areas of a business. We’ve isolated five universal pieces of advice that you can apply to your own Agile transformation regardless of your specific vision and strategy.

5 tips on how to proceed with your Agile transformation

1. Follow your roadmap

  • Follow the steps included in your short-term agenda
    Getting started is usually the hardest part of any project. There’s nothing strange about this – you’re facing the unknown. That’s why you need a detailed division of responsibilities and a short-term agenda so that you always know who is who in the decision-making process and what to do next.
  • Adjust your long-term strategy, if needed
    Getting rid of obstacles is also easier when you have a long-term strategy to guide you through your Agile transformation. However, you may notice that your big plan might need some improvements at some point during the process – that’s totally normal. Flexibility and adjusting to the current situation is what being Agile is all about.
  • Be consistent and committed to your vision
    Remember that any temporary disruptions shouldn’t cloud your final vision. You can definitely make modifications along the way – this will help you stay on track – but the key to succeeding in the long run is consistency, commitment and determination in the pursuit of your goals. So, whenever you need to make a big decision, keep your vision in mind.

2. Set up checkpoints

  • Work in intervals
    Breaking down the work into smaller chunks will help your team stay focused on specific tasks, and it will also make it easier for your managers to evaluate progress. You can set up a number of checkpoints – for example, you can work in two-week sprints to maintain control over the project, and then also have a bigger check-up every 60 or 90 days, in order to take a step back and look at things from a wider perspective.
  • Monitor your progress in accordance with the verification model that you’ve created
    Establishing benchmarks and having points of reference is crucial in monitoring your progress. This is where a well-prepared set of metrics comes in handy – you can measure the effectiveness of your Agile transformation, so you know if you’re doing well, or if some changes have to be made.

3. Maintain good communication within your teams

  • Adopt a problem-solving approach
    The Agile transformation is usually a big thing that includes a lot of firsts. This, in turn, can potentially cause misunderstandings and create some issues — which can be solved quickly if you approach them with a solution-first attitude.
  • Encourage your team members to give you honest feedback
    They shouldn’t be afraid to voice their opinions – whether it’s about a few particular steps of the Agile transformation itself, or the style of management. Honesty, transparency and constructive criticism can only help make the process run more smoothly.
  • Be open to any suggestions
    Your C-level executives can come up with some good transformation ideas, as may your other team members — on both the junior and senior levels. Don’t be too quick to dismiss a suggestion just because it comes from someone with far less experience in this field. A breakthrough pitch can come from the most unexpected sources.

Educate people

  • Create a common understanding
    Make sure that not only your managers, but also your other team members, all share the same understanding of what Agile transformation means for your organisation. This will reduce the number of potential misunderstandings.
  • Organise a meeting or training session, if needed
    Talking about things and having discussions is one thing, but it may be more effective to organise a bigger event for all parties involved, where you can share a detailed presentation of the transformation plan, including certain definitions. This will make people feel more comfortable, knowledgeable and secure within the process.
  • Start introducing your Agile transformation to your customers
    As we suggested in the last article – you can turn the transformation process into a business opportunity and sell it to your clients. Show them how beneficial the transformation will be for them as well, whether you’re preparing a new or upgraded set of products/services for your customers, or just transforming your internal processes.

Don’t stop

  • Focus on finding your weak spots
    Regularly infiltrate each and every area of your business. Your company is like a living organism – every part of it changes, matures, and sometimes also decelerates and decreases in productivity. Stay in control: listen to your employees, monitor the situation, and be ready to react at any time.
  • Remember that the Agile transformation is a continuous process
    There is always something to improve and refine. So, even after you’ve accomplished one project, the Agile transformation of your business should continue. Always be searching for new opportunities to develop.

Following a set of good practices will help you succeed!

As you can see – your Agile transformation should be handled in… a very agile way. Follow a plan, but adapt when needed. Monitor your progress, listen to feedback, try to stay open-minded and be ready to make adjustments and further improvements.

Stay tuned for the last article in our series. We will be discussing how to monitor the progress of your transformation in more detail.

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