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Successful Agile Transformation: Responsibly Delegating With Clear Goals
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Successful Agile Transformation: Responsibly Delegating With Clear Goals

Leaders should adopt a hybrid approach while taking responsibility for the agile transformation of their organization. Which will allow them to reach their business goals faster and more efficiently. 

We all are aware of how important Agile transformations are. These services allow firms to be more reactive, do more with less, and better serve their customers’ interests. But fully implementing agile transformation principles and practices across multiple teams and departments is one of the most challenging tasks for any organization.

You’d be surprised to know that almost 70% of agile transformation initiatives fail. According to a 2021 meta-analysis published in Harvard Business Review, the figure could be as high as 78%. And the reason people get so bad results is because of 2 main reasons:

  1. They delegate accountability for agile transformation outputs without specifying the desired outcomes.
  2. They rely too much on known quantities and are too focused on the highest levels of the organization, ignoring the tactical, in-the-field improvements required to maintain the transformation.

We’ll talk about the second mistake in some other article but for now. Let’s talk about the first mistake in detail and how you can avoid making this mistake and how to implement agile transformations in your organization successfully.

Who Should Take Responsibility for Agile Transformations

Leaders who are new to agile transformations often look up to preexisting agile transformation practices but most often that knowledge is wrong. Most often the leaders depend on Scrum Masters for enabling successful Agile Transformation.

But the truth is, the role of the scrum master is designed to support agile teams and provide agile solutions on a day-to-day basis but oftentimes they fail in the long-term adoption of the agile methodology.

It’s true that scrum masters are knowledgeable about agile project management, but their knowledge is typically limited to a subset of it. They may not be well-versed in expanding agile transformations beyond a single team, and they may be unfamiliar with agile implementations that do not use the scrum framework. With a few exceptions, It is not recommendable to completely believe that they are prepared to manage change.

Therefore leaders who are responsible for Agile Transformations cannot delegate the responsibility of this to Scrum Masters. They must take complete responsibility for it. This doesn’t mean they have to be the ones drawing up new organizational charts or evaluating agile tools, but they must be involved in the transformation from start to finish. Scrum Masters are a great addition that’s going to support you throughout the whole agile transformation process. But it’s not a great idea to add them on the front.

Agile Transformation Outcomes Outperform Its Outputs

The best way for leaders to maintain accountability for the success of the agile transformation process is to clearly express the outcomes they expect post-transformation.

Agile solutions exist to solve organizational problems. Agile is sometimes used to boost market speed. At times, it is used to empower staff in order to enhance innovation and retention. In other circumstances, it’s a way to reduce rework and waste caused by a siloed organizational structure.

Whatever the reason, the purpose of an agile transformation is to solve a broader problem. Effective transformation leaders are able to express this outcome clearly and have found measurements that indicate its presence.

And by focusing more on the outcome and less on the output of the Agile Transformation process the leaders can make sure that they are involved in the transformation without becoming overwhelmed by the process.

Agile outputs include working agile teams, visible backlogs, regular sprints, and more. Scrum masters are well-positioned to assist you in obtaining these, but simply performing sprints and establishing backlogs does not imply that the greater outcome has been met.

You’ll need strategic advice, either from internal champions with transformation experience or from external consultants, to ensure outputs are aligned with your targeted results. When this is joined with long-term leadership commitment to attaining the targeted outcomes of the change, rather than merely outputs, there is a potential to join the 22% who achieve effective transformation.

But 90% of the time you won’t find an internal leader having experience with agile transformations. That’s why it’s always a better idea to delegate the process to an external agile consultant who has in hand experience in agile transformations.

And IDTCS is an agile consulting firm based in the USA which can provide you with agile transformation services and help you in the transformation process taking away a huge burden from your head.

A Hybrid Strategy

Even after outcomes are identified and integrated the teams and their leaders including scrum masters require support. And sustaining this focus on transformation for multiple quarters or years can be challenging, but it can be easily simplified by using the right tools.

Instead of leaving agile practitioners to fend for themselves, leaders should use strong tools to assist the transformation to become self-sustaining.

Whatever way you take, make sure you don’t delegate responsibility for your transformation to individuals who, while they may have agile experience, lack the capacity to shepherd a complicated business agility project. Instead, establish a clear goal by implementing agile principles and practices, and then collaborate with your agile subject matter experts to help you achieve it.

Conclusion

We can clearly see that although people might have experience in agile transformations. It is not a good practice to completely delegate and blindly trust other individuals for the agile transformation process and what are the outcomes that one should focus on while monitoring it.

But delegating and sharing your burden is easier because IDTCS provides agile transformation and agile consulting services where we will guide you and help you throughout the agile transformation journey of your organization.

29 Sep, 2022

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