Agile Implementation Strategies
The agile leadership team should view various parts of the organization as their customers. Members of an agile leadership team need to solve problems and remove constraints rather than delegate that work to subordinates.
- According to HBR, agile teams work differently when compared to chain-of-command bureaucracies and are largely self-governing.
- Moreover, the frustration caused by bureaucratic procedures or lack of collaboration between operations and innovation team results in organizational friction, meltdowns, and poor results.
- Therefore, companies should focus on creating an agile leadership team.
THE PROCESS OF IMPLEMENTATION
- The agile leadership team should view various parts of the organization as their customers.
- Members of an agile leadership team need to solve problems and remove constraints rather than delegate that work to subordinates.
- The agile leadership team should consist of an initiative chief who is responsible for overall results and a facilitator who coaches the team members and helps them to stay actively engaged.
- Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services used this strategy and created what it called a “dual organization”.
- The members of the management board at Bosch divided themselves into small agile teams and tested various approaches to tackle tough problems or work on fundamental topics.
- The company reports that nearly all areas are collaborating more effectively and are adapting more quickly to increasingly dynamic marketplaces.
- According to a research paper published by ABS Journal, the thought process and mindset should change from leadership to the execution team and the implementation should be from the implementation team to leadership.
- According to Accenture, companies should follow a cyclical strategy while implementing agile methodology following a cycle from 'Discover & Evaluate to Prioritize to Build & Operate to Analyze and again to Discover & Evaluate'.
- According to Deloitte, companies should follow an implementation approach from 'Pilot to Refine to Adopt to Scale'.
SUCCESSFUL AGILE IMPLEMENTATION
- At Ericsson, each unit was given the freedom to choose whether and how to adopt and apply agile.
- BMC Software’s Infrastructure Management Group (IMG) used agile development practices to deliver major products in less time and with higher quality.
- After implementing agile methodology, Symphony Solutions had 6 successful agile quarterly planning sessions and its number of engineers grew from 40 to 60 in 3 months.
We began our research by looking for research papers and academic studies around agile implementation strategies that have been used in the past and have been confirmed as effective for implementing an agile model in an organization. We came across an article published by HBR about an effective agile implementation strategy that was adopted by Bosch. However, several other research papers and academic studies published by ABS Journal and Carnegie Mellon University only provided some generic strategies for implementing agile methodology.
Further, we started to search various studies published by leading advisory firms including but not limited to PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, and KPMG, among others. However, most of the reports published by Accenture and Deloitte only provided implementation plans and did not provide any information on agile implementation strategies that have been used in the past and have been confirmed as effective for implementing an agile model in the organization.
Next, we started to search for case studies around companies successfully implementing agile methodologies. We came across numerous case studies about Ericsson, BMC Software, and BleXr on how the companies successfully implemented agile methodology in the organizations along with their positive results. However, none of the case studies provided any information on what specific or distinct strategies they used for agile implementation.
As our last resort, we scanned various agile consulting firms. The idea here was to find company articles around their recommended strategies for agile implementations along with relevant examples because companies typically publish such information for promotional purposes. However, after checking numerous company websites and their publications and press releases such as SAFe, Symphony Solutions, and LeSS, we were not able to find any examples of how and where the strategy was used and how effective it was (final results). All the companies have only published their implementation plans for agile methodology with no information on how effective it is. We assume the unavailability of data is due to the fact that companies hide their implementation strategies for competitive reasons.