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Agile Transformation

by StarAgile

March 27, 2020
Category SAFe


There is a revolution happening in the last 2 decades and most of the business has understood the benefits of it. Some of them have embraced the change, few are thinking to and others are baffled. Even those who have changed are contemplating as they do not find the right resources to work with them and to implement their work. 

What is this revolution we are talking about? The methodology has brought a change in the way business thinks. It is the iterative process that makes the customer feels happy at the same time in a cost-effective manner. Yes, Agile methodology which came into existence since 2001 effectively has made a revolution in the SDLC. 
What is Agile transformation? 
Every individual, small companies and giant organizations have started doing agile. Yes, they have implemented their work using the scrum framework. They know about what is required to do projects in an agile way. But, doing agile is not transformation but being agile makes it a successful change. 

Not just the shift in the way in which business and team works is called agile transformation. But, the shift in the mindset of all people in the organization. This means there must be a deep rooting to grow plants and not just trim the branches. 
Why is agile transformation required? 
Now that you know what does agile transformation mean. It is moving towards living the agile way and just not following. But, when can you live? Only when you understand the need for the shift you can live. Understanding is just shortlived but you must accept to make the change long-term. Shifting might be easy for a small organization but for a larger corporation, it is really difficult. It is not only about people's mindset but about the entire organization accepting to live the agile way. 
It is necessary to transform as agile methodology offers the following benefits 
It makes the customer happy and the “customer is the king” in the service industry. When you develop a product that a customer can view at every stage and provide suggestions, then feel glad about the outcomes. 

Product increment based on customer feedback will save costs as well. There is no need to redo the work from scratch and that will motivate employees. Happy customer and motivated employee means a successful business. 

Thus being agile by following action points in every sprint, reviewing them and making retrospective meetings during every fixed interval will pave way for the development of a successful product surpassing the expectation of the customer. 
Agile transformation Strategy 
It is easy to do agile but being agile is difficult and you need to devise a strategy for making a complete agile transformation organization-wide. Follow the steps given below to make an effective plan. 

  • Understand where your current organization stands. 
  • Know the role of each individual in every project. 
  • Check if people are flexible to allow changes. This is the key to tuning their mindset. Rigid people in the team will not only disagree but will also influence the team.
  • Find the workflow process. 
  • Identify product performance and check if they are in line with customer expectations. 
  • Know the stakeholders and the organization’s goal. 
You need to make research on all these areas before you start the transformation. After making up the mind of each individual in the company, you need to follow another set of instructions given below to implement the change. 

  • Define timelines and announce that to the team for achieving every milestone.
  • Decide on which you would want to start first and from where you can see quick results. This will motivate the entire organization about being agile.
  • What is the technology requirement must be brainstormed and acquired?
  • Identify the future state product line and align your process accordingly. 
  • Check for the need for any support from the external world like coaches to train people on being agile. 
It does not stop there but these are the stepping stones. Start slowly but firmly. 
Agile transformation Roadmap 
What does roadmap mean? It is a visual guide that will represent how the company will bring agile transformation in action. Making strategy is high-level and visually representing that as a roadmap will provide clarity to all across the business. The roadmap should consist of 

  • The outline of the objective 
  • Success metrics 
  • Product outcome 
  • Project plan
  • Who owns which initiatives 
  • What are the key stages to be followed 
  • How to implement 
  • What is the role of stakeholders 
Common features of the roadmap to make a successful transformation 
Past – Did the company make any changes in the past? What were the roadblocks? Did the people support the change and were they able to cope up with it. Was there any monetary loss, either directly or indirectly due to the changes that were done? All these questions will provide an idea to know if the company is ready for a change 

Present - A detailed analysis should be done to understand the current state of the company that includes the leadership team, customer and the development team. Also, the technology advancement must be ascertained to know how much it can support for the change. Are people culturally ready to embrace change? 

Future – What is the vision of the company and their goal shortly? Will the transformation offer positive changes to the organization in the future? 

After analyzing all this, a perfect visual map can be created for a better understanding. 
Transform from Waterfall to Agile 
The above image depicts the difference between the traditional method and the agile method. The traditional method follows a linear sequence in which every stage gets over and move to the next level. Unlike in the agile method, each iteration will contain all stages which will allow testing in every phase. Dividing the product into small increments will offer several benefits like reduction in cost, customer satisfaction, etc. 

The traditional method is called the waterfall method. Imagine how water flows in a waterfall, hence it has got this name. To transform from waterfall to agile you need to follow the steps given below. 

  1. Tune the mindset of people as the first step to make agile transformation possible.
  2. Make a strategy and get a roadmap ready.
  3. Collaborate the team 
  4. Integrate tools and automate the process
What next? 
It will take atleast 3 years to make this change and depending upon the size of the organization the duration will extend too. You sow the seed today in your organization and achieve agile transformation by attending the SAFe Agile Training. Yes, it is easy to adapt to agile but being agile is a challenging task for the organization. Hence attend a professional course to know how to kickstart this process. 



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