10 SUCCESS FACTORS OF AGILE ORGANISATIONS

From their extensive work in agile projects and organisations, the project leaders and consultants at ADP know what counts in an agile organisation.

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#10 – GET THE EXECUTIVES COMMITTED

Without the visible and comprehensive commitment and support of the top management, agile is destined to fail. Avoid the dilemma of traditional structures being imposed on agile teams. An organisation that must constantly demonstrate the benefits of agile whilst having to comply with traditional reporting structures will struggle.

Servant leadership doesn’t match a command and control mind set.

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#9 – ENABLE YOUR TEAMS

An agile team needs specific knowledge and skills that need to be identified and fostered, and most importantly, to be valued within the company. Agile team members need an enticing career path. They need the opportunity to aspire to executive positions and act as multipliers for future agile transformation in your organisation.

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#8 – MEASURE THE RIGHT METRICS

Align your KPI’s to the values and principles of agile. Measuring time and budget has only a limited significance, whereas predictability and quality moves into the focus.

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#7 – DEFINE DONE

The objective of a sprint is to deliver shippable functionality. This must include quality assurance, documentation, training and what the stakeholders require to be able to sell the product to their customers with confidence.

Completing unfinished products after they have been delivered costs more and damages reputation. It also has an opportunity cost because it impacts future sprints.

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#6 – PROVIDE THE RIGHT TOOL SET

Working in an agile environment is different and requires specific tools to ensure throughput. E.g. collaboration, (automated) testing or deployment without the right tools will reduce the velocity of your agile teams significantly. This would in turn reduce the benefits that you can reap from being agile.

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#5 – ENCOURAGE COMMUNICATION

The agile way of working relies upon a lively yet efficient exchange of information between team members and between teams. The better each individual understands who is doing what and how, the sooner they can assess the impact on their own work. This way synergies and impediments can be clearly identified early on. Gatekeepers and secrets don’t belong in an agile world.

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#4 – IDENTIFY THE INTERFACES

If not all departments of your company are agile then you need to consider the interfaces. Collaboration and interaction between departments working agile and the ones with a classical way of working need to be clear. 

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#3 – DON’T DO IT BY HALVES

Understand the nature of agile and adopt it entirely. Agile is not a tool set but a mindset. All the well-meant agile tools and ceremonies will be worthless if they are not applied in a true agile environment. Either you are totally agile, or you are not at all.

#2- THINK IN PRODUCTS

Implement a paradigm change to product-thinking. Your products are your interface to your customers and markets. 

Design processes and structures to reflect your focus on products and their development.

And your products are represented by product owners in your organisation. They need your full support and access to relevant resources.

#1 – DEFINE A CLEAR TRANSFORMATION OBJECTIVE

As well as being a key question to answer, it is imperative that the objectives you want to achieve by becoming agile are clearly communicated.
What are the objectives?
Why have these objectives been chosen?
Why should they be adopted?
What is in it for your customers, employees, suppliers and your shareholders?

Publish the objectives and hang them on the wall.

10 SUCCESS FACTORS OF AGILE ORGANISATIONS

You switched to agile. The new way of working has been well received, but something is hindering your organisation from achieving the full potential. A clear indicator that you should review the important success factors of an agile organisation.
Have they been identified?
Have they been implemented correctly?
Are they being lived?

ADP knows what counts in a transformation to agile. Based on our extensive, hands-on experience with agile projects and agile organisations we provide you our advice in the upcoming posts. Stay tuned.

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