What Makes A Company Truly Agile?

What Makes A Company Truly Agile?

by Nishadi Ranasinghe January 15, 2020

Implementing Agile: What makes your team self-organizing? What makes a company truly Agile?

Is it having stand-up meetings every morning run by a diligent SCRUM master and using the word ‘Sprint’ a lot? Probably not.

For many teams trying to embrace the Agile methodology to develop their requirements, simply taking on its vernacular isn’t enough to embody the process. Indeed spending thousands of dollars on sending your previously PRINCE 2 trained project managers on week-long SCRUM master courses may not be the best way to implement Agile in your organization.

As with anything, there’s one fundamental change that needs to occur ahead of any sustainable change, and that’s mainly to do with one thing: mindset.

At the crux of an Agile methodology is the concept of a ‘self-organizing, cross-functional’ team. This involves a team with a similar level of knowledge on a subject matter, from different functional areas, collaborating to ensure the most must-have requirements are incorporated into any solution.

To form this type of working environment, it’s important to have team members committed to the collective team objective. They must also trust that while individual needs may not go to the front of the queue on Day 1, they will, at some point, be addressed, assessed, and prioritized. For this, there is a key ingredient that needs to be baked into the culture of the organization which is trust.

In a recent article (https://dzone.com/articles/agile-methodology-fails-without-an-agile-mindset), Kapil Puri explains the need for an agile mindset to foster successful agile projects. He mentions that the key is everyone adopting a goal-oriented way of working, focusing on leaders building a ‘Trust atmosphere’.

When transitioning from mainly waterfall oriented project management, it quite difficult to adapt to a new way of working. This is because waterfall works on the premise that a singular project team develops and prioritizes requirements away from functional stakeholders.

Therefore, these stakeholders use their designated time on the soapbox to ensure the project team will serve their needs, not taking into account their place into a broader process.

This leads to competition and animosity. Where projects are guided by teams of individuals who are self-serving and focused on achieving singular ambitions, this collaboration does not work.

Agile teams need to be committed to their objectives and committed to trusting each other to achieve these. Priorities need to be examined and reprioritized as requirements are developed based on and mutual understanding of the team’s purpose.

At Eleven Consulting, our focus is on fostering the Agile mindset within agile teams. Using a few key steps, the idea is to break through the jargon, and the trendiness of Agile and get to why and how it will help projects succeed by putting people at its core.

Key steps include:

  • Temperature check on the current state of a project
  • Interviews with team members to understand their views on the team and their role within it
  • A full assessment of steps to get teams to function collaboratively
  • Agile mindset training recommendations

To find out more how our methods can get your team up and running to be fully functional delivery teams contact us at- contact@elevenco.co.uk

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