Enterprise Agile Transformation

Enterprise Agile Transformation: Overview

Enterprise agile transformation is not just expanding or scaling agile practices “up and out” from development teams to all areas of an organization, but it’s a massive change to an organization’s strategy and culture. In successful large scale agile transformations not only are new practices adopted, but the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto become ingrained in the people and become part of the organization’s operating model.

In a fast-changing, on-demand world, a large scale agile transformation is a prerequisite for a company’s sustainability and future success. Technology continues to advance at a rapid rate and there are many exciting innovations on the horizon that will continue to evolve over the next 20 years. Organizations from top down must be able to adapt and embrace a future of flexibility as changes and customer demands will begin to emerge quickly.

Read more about large scale agile transformation from our partner: BCG: Large Scale Agile Transformation


Enterprise Agile Transformation: Top Three Common Challenges

Agile organizational transformation is not as easy as applying the practices of smaller teams or projects and scaling or reproducing those steps to other teams and departments within an organization.

While scaling agile practices is certainly possible and partnering with an agile transformation company will ensure scaling is successful, the real challenges present themselves when people, our most valued resources, are asked to make a significant change to the way they behave, think and work.

Fortunately due to its transparent nature, agile will expose issues and challenges sooner which allow quicker collaboration and resolution.


Some of the common challenges include:

  • Management not understanding the need for a change in the development approach or believing it’s for the IT department only.
  • Often times this is a result of a fear of the unknown. A natural fear of change can prevent an organization from fully realizing the success of a large scale agile transformation. An organization that lives in a fearful state will not do well with agile.

    In addition, a misalignment of the strategic vision and lack of executive support will encourage people to resist change. C-level management must be open and supportive of an agile organizational transformation.

    Education and training is the key in resolving unfounded fears, but support from leadership will help to alleviate fears.

  • How to extract and utilize metrics to optimize delivery of quality software.
  • Agile practices do provide some “reports” and “metrics” that are useful to IT leaders, but to measure the true value of agile transformation, IT leaders must be able to measure the quality of their software.

    Agile stresses the delivery of quality software in short increments and it is crucial to have the ability to reference metrics that can be inspected and adapted frequently so informed decisions can be made based on data and not assumptions. Building new functionality upon defective code is a prescription for future, expensive rework.

    Agile lacks direction on software analysis metrics, however CAST Software have tools and solutions to fill this gap.

  • Skills sets are too specialized and in order to be successful, there is a need to be cross-functional.
  • As products and projects increase in demand, size and complexity, so will team dependencies. The goal is to minimize these dependencies between teams. IT leaders need to support this cross collaboration regardless of titles. Some people may be resistant to such change to learning new skills sets, others will embrace it. IT leaders will need to offer on-going encouragement and support cross collaboration even when it is uncomfortable.


Enterprise Agile Transformation: Engaging the Right Expertise

Engaging the proper support and experts too late in the transformation process is a top ingredient for a recipe for disaster.

Engagement prior to and during a large scale agile transformation is a must. A large scale agile transformation in an on-demand world is a great, rewarding endeavor and to reap the best value and return on investment, it is critical to employ not just an agile transformation company, but also to engage the expertise of a vendor that can assist with Software Analysis and Measurement (SAM). Together, an organization will have the best, customized approach that will ensure success and will help an organization steer clear of many of the other challenges an organization will encounter.

 

How CAST Can Help

CAST provides measurement to organizations undergoing agile transformations. These metrics are reported through a set of audience-tailored dashboards that provide visibility for managing complex transformation initiatives.

  • Establish a baseline for measuring quality and productivity of application development process prior to agile transformation. The baseline creates factual understanding of the existing state of development process, teams and output to serve as the benchmark for improvement.
  • Baseline the key applications along the most important application health parameters to ensure they don’t deteriorate over the life of the agile transformation. This protects critical systems during transformation process.
  • Govern and manage risk and quality based on established management criteria and metrics.
  • Support continuous improvement through automated, sustainable measurement of application development process output.
  • Measure quality and productivity of development process post agile transformation to document improvement and serve as the basis of return on investment.