For the majority of organizations, the journey to business agility has been somewhat successful, but not nearly as transformative and rewarding as they had hoped and expected. As such, some organizations are wondering if agile is here to stay. The answer is yes…and no.
Yes, agile will be around for a long, long time because the fundamentals are sound, and they align with what organizations need to succeed and survive, specifically, the ability to make faster decisions and drive efficiencies, while maintaining quality standards and meeting compliance requirements. Obviously, agile is not a magic wand that instantly makes all of this happen, but it is certainly part of the solution.
However, as organizations move to adopt agile processes and methodologies across different functions, levels, departments and business units, it will invariably change and adapt. Essentially it will still be agile, but it will have its own application and expression.
To help enterprises prepare for the road ahead, and especially so they do not prematurely pull the plug on their agile experiment because they mistakenly believe it is not working, here are four insights to keep in mind:
- The transition to agile for most organizations typically required at least an 18-month learning curve. However, this can take longer due to various factors. For example. geographic locations and cultural differences can influence how agile is used.
- Adopting an agile methodology involves having various components — such as teams, software and processes — in place. Project delivery can (and almost certainly will) be impacted if proper controls are not firmly in place.
- Implementing agile is a challenge and requires a different approach in which managers empower individuals to make decisions from traditional decision process models. The right perspective, outlook and behaviour are required to make agile work, and have it accepted as a viable and beneficial model.
- Tools that support a hybrid approach can be the ideal way optimize project delivery, as they help provide clear goals and controls to hit delivery dates.
Playing Team Ball
Agile is not going anywhere, but it is not staying the same either. It can and should extend beyond traditional development teams to help other departments and business units more easily change direction on projects, and ultimately drive a smoother and more efficient process. In this sense, agile can be thought of as a more of a collaborative approach that engages the whole team, and that brings stakeholders and teams together. This is ideal for fostering a transparent culture and way of working, where everyone understands their roles and responsibilities.