Shane O'hEochaidh

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PipeTalent engages with companies to design and implement the plan for moving from a traditional project management approach to Agile.

 

Depending on the size of the company and the number of employees impacted the speed at which the change can happen will change. In practice implementing agile will increase in complexity and time exponentially as the number of employees involved increases.

Reducing Resistance To Change

One of the main reasons Agile implementations fail is employees feel they do not completely understand the change (the reasons behind it as well as the plan to implement) and have not been properly trained on the tools that will be used, the structure and individual expectations.

 

A more problematic rewriting of this is that employees have different ideas and visions of what the future structure will look like, when this happens in any project or component of a project, we can all agree, it is destined for failure.

 

Moving to agile, if framed correctly to employees should be thought of as a chance to gain industry standard experience and accreditations and should lead to more efficient delivery of work and greater job satisfaction. 

 

The roadmap for introducing agile should begin long before the first product backlog is compiled or Scrum Team is put together. 

 

Our sample roadmaps provide more details on this but generally it should begin with an introduction to the concept of agile for the entire organization with examples and presentations tailored to your company and goals rather than generic comparisons of the Waterfall and Agile. This is also a chance to showcase the specific benefits for the employees, the organization and it’s clients. 

 

Post this, conduct training workshops that equip your employees to acquire the mindset and apply it in their work. 

 

The result, as employees are trained in the benefits and shown the techniques they will often begin to question their current methodologies and become excited and anxious to move to the new agile structure, driving the support for agile not only from the top down but now the bottom up.

Lack Of Planning

With the change of ways, there needs to be a change in the planning process. Unfortunately, most people underestimate the importance of this step. 

 

Have systems in place that take care of task management, communication between people, information sharing, collaboration, timelines, etc. Once those are implemented, test them out, identify the gaps and fill them with possible solutions. 

Lack Of Role Clarity

When people of different skillsets begin working together, there is an exchange of information, thoughts and you’re exposed to others’ jobs and roles. This may lead you to indulge and dabble in positions that are not your core skill which is alright as it gives you a bigger picture. 

 

However, the downside is that it might also lead to people getting confused about their role in the team and what should they primarily focus on. 

 

So, assign those roles right at the beginning. Give room for flexibility and explore different skillsets and give each person definitive accountability on their job. They can go beyond their call of duty to learn more, but their role should be clear to them, and they must deliver accordingly. 

Lesser Focus On Culture

Shifting towards an agile environment needs a cultural change in the organization. This involves how we see employees from different levels, how they interact with each other, the mindset while collaborating on a project, etc. 

 

These little things are pretty significant in shaping the culture of an organization. So if you’re making that shift, ensure that you first cause the change in your organization’s culture. 

 

People and their mindset build culture. And only if people have an agile mindset can they thrive in that environment. This mindset includes ownership, autonomy to make decisions, taking accountability, and so on.

Gaps Between Agile Environment And Business Goals

Creating and implementing an agile environment just because it’s the latest fad is yet another typical situation that organizations find themselves in. So, while transforming the company and its employees towards an agile environment, have a clear rationale and goal. 

 

Attach business goals to the implementation so that you have criteria to measure success or failure. Once you have, a straightforward troubleshooting process can be used to determine where the challenges lie and how to recalibrate to reach your business goals. 

 

The rationale behind agility is to become time-efficient, cost-efficient, and enable smooth processes that lead to increased business. So set those goals and avoid the gaps.

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