Agile is everywhere. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are taking to the concepts of Agile and transforming one day at a time. One of the most common questions organizations have is, "How long does an Agile transformation take?" Is a full Agile transformation something you can accomplish in a week? A month? A year?
Shifting the Mindset
Agile shifts the mindset of the entire organization. If your company is used to traditional management styles and waterfall software development approaches, the transformation may take a bit longer. The transformation involves changing the attitudes of everyone, altering what people see as valuable, and tweaking the mindset of every person to think and be Agile every day.
When going through a transformation, the whole idea is to put the organization in a better position to adapt and respond to changes quickly. You want to be able to succeed in an industry or business environment full of turbulence. Transformation begins to take place as soon as you embrace change.
Transformation Takes Time
There is no prescriptive timeframe for how long an Agile transformation will take. One of the principles of Agile is encouraging self-organizing teams. Teams are free to work the way they want but should always be striving for iterative improvement. Take it one step at a time and try to get better every single day.
Agile transformations will proceed at a different pace for each company. The transformation isn’t complete until all levels of the organization are following the principles of Agile. Everybody, from the software developers to the Scrum Masters to the CEO, should be valuing people over process. It is then that you can say you have made an Agile transformation.
Transformation Versus Mastery
It is one thing to say you’ve completed an Agile transformation, but it’s another story to be fully mature with Agile. If you want to reach a state of mastery, you have to let your organization work at a comfortable pace. Every pocket of your organization will transform at a different clip. Some development teams may take to Scrum and find a lot of success. Other development teams may try Kanban and struggle for six-months before they begin to hit their groove. As long as the goal is to get better every day, mastery (or at least near-mastery) will occur before you know it.
You can transform your organization, but it will take time for everyone to do Agile well. One of the great things about Agile is that change is welcome. Once you get the company comfortable with change, when employees begin to embrace alterations to their plans, it is easier to adapt to Agile expectations.
Agile is eating up the business world one company at a time. It is a wave you cannot avoid, and adopting it now will keep you ahead of competitors. Embrace the transformation, preach patience, and see the results start rolling in.
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