Understanding the concept of an Agile transformation can be confusing. It can be easy to think you are Agile when you really aren't. To grasp the whole concept of an Agile transformation, you first need to understand the basics of Agile.
At its core, the goal of Agile is to put an organization in a position where it can quickly and easily pivot from one stage of software development to another, delivering quality iterations along the way.
Quality Results in Short Increments
Agile is all about delivering quality results in short increments. Agile is closely related to project management for software development, but it has also started to make its way into the operational space. The aim is to produce good software incrementally and quickly, while also providing value to the customer.
Imagine a software you are developing. You may have 100 features that you need to complete, all of which work together to give the customers the total solution they seek. Using Agile, you would figure out the 10 features that are most important and get those features out to the user as soon as possible. Keep in mind, this is all done while you're developing the next set of features for the subsequent Sprint.
Making the Transformation a Reality
To make the Agile transformation a reality, you need to educate the entire organization on the principles of Agile. Everyone, from the top executives to the individual members of Development Team, needs to understand the principles. The 4 main values of Agile, as outlined in the Agile Manifesto are as follows:
1. Respond to change instead of following a plan.
2. Collaborate with customers instead of negotiating contracts.
3. Put together working software instead of creating excessive documentation.
4. Value individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
These are the principles everyone in your organization should embrace. You also need to embrace the idea of being flexible. Break down the silos of the organization to allow everyone to work in a more collaborative fashion. On top of that, allow groups within the organization to self-organize, working the way they want to work. Your organization should be a rapidly changing, ever-evolving environment, and this will facilitate the Agile transformation.
You Need to Do Agile, Not Talk Agile
In order to reap the benefits of the methodology, you have to put it into practice. You can experiment with the various frameworks, such as Scrum, Kanban, or XP to see what works. Allow development teams to self-organize and decide the best way to work. The entire organization, from top to bottom, has to live and "do" Agile every day. Saying you are Agile is not enough!
Agile adoption is when you actually apply Agile to daily operations. It will probably take some time to work out the kinks in your framework, but always seek to improve. You will never master Agile, but you can find ways to optimize it for your company every day. At ClearlyAgile we help you apply strategies to transform your company into a world-class, Agile-based organization. Some of our services include
DevOps Assessments and Implementations
Agile Custom Software Development