Agile enterprise transformation is the adoption of the Agile mindset throughout the entire organization. It’s a fundamental shift in thinking and behaving that enables an organization to accomplish anything it sets its focus on.
In today’s organizations, many aspire to be fast and responsive to their customers and they believe the way to do that is to be Agile. Organizations that aspire to be Agile typically go down a path to adopt Enterprise Agile tools and processes. Enterprise Agile focusses on scaling up the use of Agile practices for delivering digital projects within and outside of IT. While that is of value to organizations, agile enterprises have learned how to apply Agile principles top down. Leaders learning how to model the way of Agile increases the success of scaling Agile practices up through the organization.
The Manifesto for Agile Software Development (agilemanifesto.org) developed twelve principles which are the basis for all Agile methodologies and implementations. These principles continue to hold true, but we have adapted these into 6 principles of an agile enterprise:
- Prioritize delivery of customer value
- Seek progress over perfection
- Alignment and accountability through transparency
- Simplify the work
- Trust people and teams to do their job
- Treat everything as a learning opportunity
Agile enterprise transformation is hard work and the journey to get there is non-linear, underestimated and misunderstood. The journey begins with imagining what it could look (and feel) like living one or more of the principles. Next, being courageous enough to learn how to put some of it into practice and open to trying it again.
Over time, you’ll start asking, “How does this help us realize our goals?” and “Isn’t this good enough for now?”. You’ll stop spinning over getting consensus on what the work should be or how it should be done. You’ll realize the value of putting a stake in the ground and learning from moving towards it. This doesn’t mean you won’t have plans and strategies, but how you get there will be different. In agile enterprises, over time, confidence is earned and certainty is proven. Agile enterprise transformation results in your organization proving it can accomplish anything it sets its focus on.