Many companies are starting Agile transformation processes, but some of them are sorely disappointed along the way. A successful evolution requires a deep understanding of Agile benefits, and a clear acknowledgement that results might not come as quickly as expected.

One of the biggest challenges is making sure the Agile methodology inspires all departments and teams, so the organisation can deliver the best possible software and services by actively collaborating with key people in different functions and lines of business. Define and engage multidisciplinary work groups is thus the base condition for getting relevant achievements.

Becoming an Agile company is, first of all, an HR matter. The right professionals with the right Agile expertise should be recruited (or trained, if staff resources are available), but a general effort to educate employees across hierarchies and business units should be considered and scheduled. In some cases, it might be worth reviewing the existing performance evaluation system to reward individual and team results, and further, encourage the adoption of Agile-based behaviours.

Another barrier to demolish is the traditional sequential approach to innovation. Lots of companies still conceive product development or any other progress as a step-by-step process, where the outcome of a specific activity feeds the following phase. In the Agile world, innovation is non-linear, and drives fertile interactions with different stakeholders along the supply and value chain, regardless of their formal role. This leads to enhanced effectiveness, less time, and an entirely new way of exchanging ideas and knowledge.

It’s now clear that turning into an Agile company means having a precise vision of what the organisation should become, and where it should arrive. Senior management needs to be aware of complexities and obstacles, but above all should be ready to lead a fascinating journey that will transform business and people, opening the doors to the future.

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