What is an agile transformation?
This is an abstract.
The path from a classic organizational form to an agile organization is called agile transformation. But what does this mean for the organization?
The goal is an adaptable, flexible and fast acting organization.
The current framework conditions for organizations are changing faster than ever before. As a result of ongoing digitization, market conditions, customer requirements and the complexity of products are changing ever faster. The traditional methods of collaboration and decision-making processes are often perceived as too slow and too inflexible for this. This makes many teams and managers want a more adaptable organization. And with it the desire for an agile transformation.
Agile transformation brings agile mindset and various agile frameworks to life in the organization.
In an agile transformation, agile frameworks or methods are implemented in the organization. There are frameworks that are typical at the team level, such as Scrum or Kanban.. When several teams are working on one goal and need to be coordinated, we speak of agile scaling. There are also frameworks for this, such as Scaled Agile Framework or LeSS, which provide helpful tools and patterns. Overall, teams, groups of teams and managers are transferred step by step to an agile way of working.
The success factor of the agile transformation is the change to an agile mindset.
Together with the use of agile procedures, the change to an agile mindset also begins. The Scrum values are often cited to describe the agile mindset:
Agile principles are used in some cases:
inspect and adjust (continuous improvement),
early delivery of value,
get work flowing,
empowerment and self-organization.
More precisely we go to the description of the Agile Mindset here. However it is described, it is a distinctly different mindset than the culture in a traditionally organized organization allows. An agile mindset among those involved leads to openness for new ways, tolerance for experimentation, the striving for improvement, and thus to a successful approach. Thus, a successful change to an agile mindset also lays the foundation for a successful agile transformation.
Agile transformation is a change and needs change management.
A successful agile transformation leads to changes in the daily routine of everyone involved, to a different way of leading and to a changed culture in the organization. This means a lot of change for everyone. There is no blueprint for an agile organization that fits all organizations. Therefore, agile transformation needs to be planned, implemented and reviewed step by step. This is why you cannot plan an agile transformation on a drawing board, but must also approach the change adaptively:
Carry out the change itself in an agile manner - thus acting as a role model in the organization and coming up against the same organizational limits. I.e. plan in iterations, maintain backlog and prioritize regularly.
start with volunteers - so the resistance to experimentation is much lower and the chances of success much higher.
Remain open to solutions - agile transformation takes place differently in every organization. This also leads to different solutions, and that's a good thing. However, the underlying patterns are similar and that is what success is based on.
An agile transformation takes time and is probably never completely finished.
The transformation to an agile organization cannot be achieved overnight. Even if many managers would like it to happen. In addition to the visible introduction of agile working methods, the often invisible cultural change in particular takes time. The apparent "reprogramming" of attitudes and actions toward colleagues and employees that have often been learned over many years is an aspect that is often underestimated. Both in duration and in impact. In fact, introducing agile ways of working without the accompanying cultural change is almost ineffective. With the shift to an agile mindset, on the other hand, an agile transformation leads to an adaptive, learning and changing organization.