Agile business transformation is a modification to the way a business reacts to the frequently changing needs and demands of clients, changes to technologies, risks, business growth and any other internal or external change that may or may not be predictable. Whether referred to as a “business and process transformation” or “agile and lean business transformation”, the definitions are essentially the same.
Transformation requires a change in behavior of all members of a business as well as changing or eliminating many processes an organization may have that could be considered “wasteful”. Iterative methods and ever changing requirements are the new “norm” and leadership must learn to transform their structure and behaviors to match and support a new way of discovery and delivery. Agile and Lean are tools designed to support a business through this evolutionary modification. These tools also guide businesses towards adopting a new way of behaving that encourages a proactive attitude versus a reactive one.
Agile, Lean and other frameworks that fall under the “agility” umbrella have had many successes. They are rapidly replacing command and control environments and cultures and organizations who embrace agile are also becoming the most attractive places to work which also attracts excellent, innovative talent.
There are two factors to be considered when preparing a business for agile transformation.
First, an assessment of a business should be conducted by a third-party agile consultant or consulting firm as this is an important step when an agile business transformation begins. An experienced consultant can determine if the business is ready for transformation and if not, which areas can be improved to help ensure success for transformation.
Secondly, is to assess the quality of the software the business develops and supports.
One of the goals of Agile Business Transformation is to reduce the time to deliver quality working software to the end user, therefore it is important to understand if the transformation improves or degraded development team or vendor output, from a quality and productivity perspective.
Software metrics gathering and reporting in the beginning of agile business transformations, regardless of which agile framework is applied for continuous delivery, helps to establish a baseline understanding of the software quality and will inform if transformational goals are being met.
As practices for continuous delivery begin to emerge, it will be crucial that a business continues to review software quality metrics on a recurring basis. Frequent inspection allows for quicker course correction. In addition, reporting and publicizing these metrics will help encourage transparency which better aligns business with IT departments. With better alignment comes accountability and credibility which helps to create a solid foundation for agile business transformation.