The benefits of Agile are plenty. This is why all organizations are looking to switch their processes from traditional methods and adopt the Agile methodology. The transition sounds simple enough in theory, but it doesn’t mean that every organization that wants to adopt Agile can do so successfully because they might not be suited for it.
Organizations should take this into consideration before embarking on the change. They need to be able to measure how Agile they can be and then see if it is a feasible option for them or not. A recent survey was conducted to identify and measure various factors that contributed to the Agility of any organization.
The Current State of Agile Organizations
There are many tools and methods that organizations can use to measure how Agile their processes are. There are various checklists also available for organizations to see if they are making any mistakes with their Agile implementation, and some of the tools available are Crisp’s Scrum Checklist or even the Agile Fluency model by James Shore and Diana Larson.
Consultants who specialize in Agile organizations can also use these tools to measure the Agility of their prospective clients, helping them with their sales pitch, and so on. Gaining a proper understanding through an available framework can really help teams understand their current level of agility and this assessment is considered to be very important when it comes to the success of projects in a company.
How can companies conduct their Agile maturity assessment?
The assessment for Agile maturity or Agility for an organization is a way for companies to determine how suitable it is to adopt the Agile methodology. It can also help with checking the current state of Agile adoption and how successful the implementation is going. For companies who are in the midst of an Agile transformation or leaning towards the process, it can be beneficial to know the steps as well.
Organizations that are looking to adopt Agile methodologies should typically ask themselves the following questions:
- What is the current state of the processes in the company?
- Where does the organization want to be when it comes to Agility in the future?
- What are the required steps to get started with the Agile transformation?
- How does the company go about designing the steps to achieve their future business goals?
- What are the factors involved?
- What could be the possible setbacks to achieving the business objectives?
- Which approach would be the most beneficial to the organization in setting up their Agile transformation?
- Which division or subset of the Agile organization would be apt for their company?
Measuring Agility in Organizations
Organizations need to ask their teams and management executives a few questions to determine how Agile their company and processes are to gain a better understanding of their current status. Some of the questions they can ask across teams can be:
- What are the different factors in the teams that help with the growth of Agile processes in the team itself?
- How can the teams continue to grow their Agile maturity level?
- What are the existing Agile maturity levels in all the teams in the organization?
- What are the other factors that would help the company become more Agile?
- Overall, at an enterprise-wide level, what is the existing maturity level?
Common Indicators for Agile Maturity in Organizations
Various components are involved in measuring Agility for companies, which can be divided into four main groups. These are:
- The employees and teams – current state of autonomy and purpose
- The state of organizational excellence
- The state of technical excellence
- Communication and collaboration within teams as well as among different teams in the organization
People and Teams for Measuring Agility of an Organization
There are various factors that go into measuring Agility when it comes to the teams in the organization and its team members. The autonomy of the team members when it comes to their tasks, along with self-organization is extremely important when it comes to becoming an Agile team and organization. Teams need to be empowered enough to make their own decisions and take accountability.
They also need to be focused on the final outcome and respect certain Agile values and adhere to them. These values can include commitment and focus for their task, transparency about their processes, and respect for the Agile best practices. All team members need to raise any issues they might face and solve them together. Teamwork is crucial to a successful Agile framework as well.
Teams also need to have the right tools in place to aid them with their objectives and they need to master all Agile processes and tools required. Learning various Agile principles and methodologies and getting properly trained as a team is also very important in achieving Agility and maturing over time. This is why team members need to be coached and trained regularly in Agile principles. Knowledge transfer within teams needs to be an active and transparent process and all feedback loops or iterations need to be as short and effective as possible.
Organizational Excellence for Achieving Agile Maturity in an Organization
Organizations need to regularly invest in conferences for their business leaders so that they can be more aware of different ways in which they can achieve Agile maturity and keep track of the upcoming trends. They need to be able to work on team-building aspects across their company and work together with cross-functional and independent teams that are capable of providing end-to-end delivery.
Business leaders and managers need to focus on innovation and delivery of the highest value and set it as an organizational standard. Agile culture needs to be ingrained with the company culture. This will help in eliminating all functional silos and create adept cross-functional teams. All hierarchy needs to be flattened and a vertical system of reporting needs to be eliminated to achieve Agile maturity. The company needs to work as a team made up of teams instead of various verticals.
All objectives across teams need to be clear, with clear strategies and priorities. The main focus of business values, objectives, and delivery should be around the customers and their needs.
Technical Excellence for Achieving Agile Maturity in an Organization
All Agile teams need to focus on the quality of their deliveries and also regularly check their code reviews, test automation, and test coverage. They need to focus on which principles of Agile to adopt for deployment and which principles they will use for their processes. Teams need to create certain metrics that will be suitable to their processes and measure their cycle time and improve it regularly.
Communication and Collaboration for Achieving Agile Maturity in an Organization
Communication and collaboration are very important for achieving Agile maturity in an organization. They need to have trust and respect for their teams and focus on getting real customer feedback to work on improvement with each iteration. There should be natural collaboration and transparency between team members and between teams to deliver optimal results and they need to work together to resolve any problems in a constructive and non-disruptive manner.
Organizations need to regularly measure their elements of Agility to achieve Agile maturity. There are different ways to do so but it has to be done regularly to make sure all processes and principles of Agile are being implemented across the organization. This will help in generating valuable insight into the company and help in creating a community within the organization that is focused on continuous improvement.
Some of the widely-recognized Agile courses that individuals and enterprise teams can take up are: