Many companies aspire to become agile, but their management practices often remain rooted in outdated principles. The hierarchical structures of command and control belong to a bygone era. Organizations that cannot adapt will struggle to survive in today’s technology-driven landscape.
Agility is not merely about implementing new processes; it is founded on people’s mindsets, behaviors, and culture. Nurturing new behaviors drives agile ways of working. For companies aiming to become truly agile, the change required is not incremental but transformational, designed with the future in mind. This transformation can lead to chaos and confusion, so it is vital to acknowledge the challenges before embarking on the journey. Agile is hard, but it is worth the effort.
In our experience these are the potential pitfalls to focus on:
- Dependencies across portfolios
- Confidence based Estimating – linked to above
- Sharing retrospectives and lessons learned with everyone
- Balance of mastery and autonomy – Mastery is earned not given
- Importance of automation, enabled by CI (Continuous Integration)/CD (Continuous Deployment)
- Agile needs to be everywhere, not just in tech
- Pay early attention to culture – safety, commitment
- Pay early attention to missing skills
- Focus on Tech debt remediation/legacy systems
- Make cyber security the enabler for growth not a blocker by adopting Dev/Sec/Ops approach
Agile is about cultivating habits and behaviors that promote autonomy, servant leadership, and psychological safety. By introducing small habits into existing routines and leading by example, leaders can reshape culture, behaviors, and ways of working.
Here are some essential elements of embracing the agile mindset:
- Establish clear objectives for teams: Defining clear, SMART objectives for each sprint and release is crucial for agile success. Ensure these objectives are communicated to all team members.
- Prioritize work: Prioritizing work is essential to guarantee that the most critical tasks are completed first, optimizing the team’s productivity and efficiency.
- Develop multi-disciplinary teams: Encourage teams to develop and release products without unnecessary delays. Autonomous working is designed to eliminate waste created by siloed operations. This approach follows established lean agile principles, such as regular stand-ups, retrospectives, and reviews, to keep everyone aligned and continuously seeking improvement.
- Foster a culture of continuous learning and adaptation: Encourage team members to learn from their experiences, iterate, and adjust their approach as needed. This culture of continuous improvement is vital for maintaining agility in a rapidly changing environment.
By embracing these principles, XOOTS can support clients to create an environment that promotes the agile mindset, fostering innovation and adaptability in today’s competitive landscape.