Why are so many organizations transforming to Agile?
Agile is a way of delivering small units of value quickly rather than delivering an entire project all at once.
What does that really mean though?
Imagine that you are designing a website for a landscaper who has just started the business. They have no collateral. They’re making a career pivot and all of a sudden they want to just jump into landscaping and they have no place to start they come to you. They want you to build them a website.
Would you ask a thousand questions write down their answers and then spend two months and isolation building the website, finally sending them the finished files with your invoice or would you design a few logos, get their feedback, then maybe design a splash screen, get some more feedback, then design some template pages, get their feedback on that continually creating touchpoints with the customer to ensure you’re delivering ultimately what they want?
Agile delivery is just that, breaking down work into small deliverable units that can be developed quickly allowing flexibility throughout the delivery process for changes.
Ok, but why do companies want Agile?
So why do companies want agility? What’s the benefit of implementing agile at the enterprise level? Well, the one we might think of first is innovation. The ability to deliver novel new, unique products to our customers. If I’m being honest, that’s really on the back burner for most enterprise-level organizations, they’re more interested in predictability. The ability to know that if you spend X amount of dollars, you get Y amount of return.
If you can deliver that predictability that’s Nirvana to these large enterprise organizations. Quality, fewer defects being released into the marketplace, better products, absolutely.
Cost savings, well this is a scary one. There are opportunities for cost savings, but it’s difficult for most people to truly understand. So I’ll explain and go in-depth into cost savings a little bit later in this course. There are ways to save a tremendous amount of money by implementing agile, but you truly have to know where those cost savings come from and how to achieve them and you’ll have that in just a little bit.
Early return on investment. We deliver more quickly and therefore our customers receive products more quickly that they engage with, maybe buy purchase, et cetera, and ultimately a better product fit as we are delivering increments better.
Just like our example with the landscaping website, we’re now delivering exactly what the customer wants because we have tighter feedback loops. So let’s go into each one of these and talk in detail so that you know exactly what companies are hoping to get out of an agile transformation. And hopefully by hiring you.
How can Agile deliver these goals?
Use the Comments Section below to describe how Agile can deliver one or more of these business goals. Imagine you are speaking to leadership and explain how Agile can deliver Predictability. Describe how Quality can be improved through agility to a potential client or customer. Share how Agile can improve Product Fit in terms a developer or other team member can relate to.
7 thoughts on “Why are so Many Organizations Transforming to Agile?”
I used to do change management for Ford Motor Company. I can totally see how the scrum framework for agile helps with cost savings. By delivering every two weeks and regularly meeting and speaking with team members, I think the company stays on top of the issue. People don’t just get sucked into silos and continously work without communication. Also, by delivering continuously to the customer, we get continuous feedback. I think that helps us save money because we aren’t providing what the customer really doesn’t want.
How were you able to get your peers to buy in? Did your change management background make it easier for you?
Excellent points. The key is just as you said, “[We] save money because we aren’t providing what the customer really doesn’t want.”
Learning this type of framework helps me better understand why my company moved to a more agile state in the past couple of years. We’ve seen more development releases in a shorter amount of time, which has helped the fast moving pace and growth of our company.
Previously, a lot of the project work seemed to be released at the end of the life cycle of the project. When issues were identified, the cost and manpower involved to go back, identify and correct the issue was expensive. More work had to be done. With the scrum framework, testing solutions out in smaller batches, releasing, and moving on to the next step allows for immediate identification of issues.
These make perfect sense to me. Having a production and quality background in a fast-paced manufacturing environment, I can see why my employer is focused on an Agile mindset.
My company right now is using Agile specifically for IT projects, but I can see how it could be successful in their marketing department in particular. Their department is in a constant state of being in the weeds and can’t seem to ever get their arms around their projects. Moving to Agile I personally feel would help them manage better with the sprints.
Many businesses are using Agile because it allows them to make corrections to a process before spending thousands of dollars and learn later that it’s not going to work the way they intended. The process informs the decision makers know what’s working and not working sooner. It can increase morale, you have teammate buy in at the beginning. I can definitely see my department benefiting by shifting to Agile.