We’ve seen many fail, we’ve seen many trying and we’ve seen many succeeding! Here are some conclusions from companies who mastered the Agile practice to a level that’s good enough to yield business benefits.
Sponsorship. Got someone, preferably a very senior executive to sponsor this initiative. And since this is going to make the whole organisation more agile it should be high. Very high!
Support. Secure the right support from the organization and from its environment. Management should understand Agile and support and promote it. Partners and clients should want and be able to work this way. Your team members should see the benefits for them personally and be part of it. Supporting functions should be on board. And lastly finance should be driving everybody crazy with annual budget and accurate spending.
Processes. Understand that part of doing Agile is being able to change the processes and make them work for you. You define the process, you run it for a while (without changing it every week!) and then once you have enough experience you make some adjustments.
Tools. Let’s all agree that they should help. If you spent a total of 20 minutes a day staring at a screen that says “Loading…” that’s not ok. While we understand and accept things like standardization or security, we should be able to pick and choose. Let’s not forget that at the end of the day, we’re only as efficient as our tools allow us to be.
Mindset. No, it is not just running the processes of the framework. It is also, or mostly about how you understand them and what you are thinking about when you do your job. Focus on mindset as much as you focus on the process if not more.
Experiment. Understand that Agile relies a lot on experimentation and failing fast. Do the same with the Agile implementation. Play with new ideas, new practices or techniques. If they don’t work, don’t insist. If they do, adjust and personalize them and put them to work.
Fun. That’s hard to explain (or maybe not!) but there should also be an element of fun. All teams doing Agile have fun doing it. None of the teams we’ve seen performing feels miserable.