As we addressed in strip no. 15, taking an agile approach to an agile transformation could be very beneficial. But even if you do that, it is not enough, and you will of course meet obstacles on your way. Three of the traps to fall in are mentioned in this strip.
Having a ‘why’ is always great, also for doing an agile transformation, but if the ‘why’ is not aligned with the right people around the organisation, the broader buy-in will be missing, which poses a risk to the success of the transformation. Therefore, make sure that not only the transformation sponsor is clear on the motivation for doing it, but also engage people from all impacted silos (if such still exist) across the organisation.
Another showstopper, or delayer, is if there is no immediate plan for the steps following a successful pilot; if the pilot address the hypothesis of the transformation initiative, what then follows? It could be gradually rolling out to more departments, setting up a new SAFe Agile Release Train or maybe going from a LeSS setup to LeSS Huge by adding a Requirement Area. Whatever the next steps are, there needs to be plan for it and a vision driving it.
The last obstacle that we address here is potentially the most vital of all; the resistance to actually change the company culture as part of the agile transformation. As we know, going agile is very much about shifting our mindsets into a value-driven, trust-based, learning-centric and hypothesis-oriented one. If the organisation, in reality, is not ready or willing to move in this mental direction, it’ll fall back to old ways once the transformation effort is done, no matter how groundbreaking the results of it are. So, ensure the proper buy-in on the culture change before initiating the transformation and build this type of mindset training into the overall effort.
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