In the past two decades, ‘Agile’ has become the talk of the town. It might be the rarest of the rare trend in any kind of industry where the culture and mindset that has been first applied at the lowest level of hierarchy (the development teams) has become so much popular that the leaders or the senior management got inspired by it and want to adopt. The leadership called it ‘business agility’. Actually, agile ways of working is adopted to address the common challenges –
Many organizations start on their own and few also reach out to agile business consulting firms. There has been a spike in the demand of agile transformation services and stories surrounding such agile transformations. Most were failure stories and still they are in abundance when compared to successful implementation of agile transformation strategy. Why does this happen? Mostly because there is no standard way to implement the agile transformation checklist template, the journey has to be contextual and culture & mindset driven rather than following frameworks.
Organization should start preparing their own agile checklist for transformation asking a few critical questions –
The gaps in all the questions could be addressed by having an effective agile transformation checklist in place. This checklist could also be referred to as agile transformation checkpoints.
‘A goal without a plan is just a wish’. by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
‘A plan without action is just a dream’. by Joel Arthur Barker
This checklist is one of the essential tool of Benzne Transformation Agile Services which enable us to successfully understand the problems or challenges that our customer is going through, curating a tailored agile transformation strategy, target low hanging, immediate next state which we call as ‘first success’ and continuous growth by scaling and continuous improvements.
Agile business consulting is not a one size fits all but that doesn’t mean that you need to create a completely separate checklist for all clients. The Agile Transformation checklist template are the reminders that help you as ready-reckoners to course-correct or reference when lost.
“Change is inevitable, but transformation is by conscious choice.” by Heather Ash Amara
Transformation of any type confirms that you are not happy or satisfied with what is going on now or you might be happy but concerned that if we won’t transform today then we may land up in a future which will be concerning. In today’s VUCA world, there is no such organization or team that could stay in complacency. Change is indeed inevitable and we at Benzne curated this checklist as the result of dozens of successful agile transformations we did across years. Definitely, a checklist can not be guaranteed but we are confident that it will help you in tapping into those details that you might have either missed or need reassurance.
You can also reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a more detailed Agile Transformation checklist ppt and implementation strategies. We can also share a standard template for agile transformation checklist download for your reference.
Einstein is quoted as having said, “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about solutions.”
Many times we are contacted by customers who tell us that they want agile coaches for their agile transformation initiatives and we gracefully reply back saying that we are not a recruitment agency. It has been observed that organizations often rush to understand the problem they want to solve and believe that the transformation is all about changing their practices and using popular frameworks. To overcome this, we follow the below checklist for probing the stakeholders to understand the problem –
Once you understand ‘why?’ and the ‘what?’ part of the problem then it is time for us to explore the possibility of solutions to explore the ‘How?’ part of the problem.
Any assessment that we conduct it has two parts –
Identifying the To-be state is not a rushed job but a well-orchestrated activity done along with the cross-functional people who bring their perspectives together, firstly to diverge and collate different dimensions of thoughts and, then converge to bring alignment in the order of priority. This helps us in knowing various things like –
Once this is explored, then it’s time to dig in further and get into much more actionable details.
The biggest point of failure with most of the agile transformation journeys are their very nature of not being agile in its own form. They are sequential and too BIG and it ends up letting the late realization of value by the organization. W, at Benzne, always insist our customers to focus on piloting the transformation and then gradually scaling the scope by continuously replicating the success stories.
Following is our transformation checklist with agile that help us in focusing on just-enough instead of boiling the entire ocean –
All in all, the problem with the big plans in it is a coin-toss, it may either succeed or fail and most of the time, it fails. The best part of the MVP approach is, you embrace failure to happen in early stages so that we won’t repeat later and can continuously improve and pivot.
It is important to form a team of focused people who are responsible for driving the agenda of the transformation. These people should be experienced and have had such experience before in the past. It might happen that the internal people may not have such experience and the organization should bring in industry experts from external agencies or firms that have already been to such complex engagements before and successfully helped their customers with meeting their goals.
Following is the checklist to consider when we identify Agile transformation agents and form this cohort –
It is important to take time in forming such an A-team. We should not add too many members upfront, instead we should start with few who are passionate and eligible to drive such change and over time we should keep checking the necessity of expanding it.
Naval Ravikant has rightly said, “It isn’t 10,000 hours that creates outliers, it’s 10,000 iterations.”
The A-team shouldn’t just preach others to change their ways of thinking and working but themselves should lead by example. We may also have anticipations on what could and should be working but that may not be the case as the dynamics vary based on change in people, process, product, customer and technology needs. Henceforth, this is what we recommend –
‘If you can measure it, you can’t change it’ – by Peter Drucker
There are many ways we can measure the agile transformation implementation. Following are the few popular approaches –
But what matters the most are the business indicators that matters more to the organization like Increase in Revenue, Decrease in operational costs, Reduction in lead & cycle time (ie. faster delivery), Customer Satisfaction Index, Customer Retention Rate, Key certifications and accreditations, NPS Score and many more.
To perform so, we need to continuously organize and facilitate events to Plan & Review the health of strategic initiatives.
The effectivity of such assessments could happen if you ensure the following –
Assessments are good to have till they are fair and provide the true results. It shouldn’t be manipulated and it should definitely be one input for deciding the future decisions.
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu</span
It is important to create success stories at the grassroots level before going for bigger landscapes. Once the traits of agility are visible and organization has already started experiencing success in small pockets, then with no further delay we should identify the next possible MVP that we could start with. We may need to scale up the A-team also to meet that need. Following is what we suggest –
We believe that using the above Transformation checklist with agile will help any organization or consultants whom they hire to stay focused towards the agile transformation goals. We, at Benzne, curate our agile transformation services aligned with customer needs and believe that the undivided attention and relentless commitment lead us to help our customers in being their truest expression. Agile transformation checklist serves its purpose to keep you guided but the secret sauce is to be vigilant about the know-abouts of your need, continuously experiment and pivot.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to success when it comes to agile transformation but these agile transformation checkpoints are generic enough to guide you and your organization to success. All the best!