Many smart young individuals dream of being able to work in one of the innovative and leading companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix or Uber. Lots of companies on the planet seek to emulate the example of these great entrepreneurs, who managed to change the world from the garage of a house or a modest American university. However, few notice how Google or Adobe achieved what they have achieved.
How are these companies really successful product delivery at the same time keeping their employee happy. I was going over the implementation case studies and here are some examples as below.
Scrum adoption let to following improvement.
Quality Improvements: The team started keeping detailed metrics on open defects at any given point in the cycle.
Team Perception of Improvement: In order to understand if a system has improved the teams were surveyed and were that in the drive to resolve the defects: accumulation of technical debt, and impact to team members’ work/life balance.
Market Perception: Premiere Pro has shown a marked improvement in perception and likelihood to recommend, coinciding with a decrease in the same scores for Premiere Pros’ primary competitors.
- A release backlog and burndown charts. These two tools provide high visibility into the development progress for the project team, but also outsiders.
- The release backlogs were stored in wiki pages which made it very easy for engineers to update them.
- With some modifications, we could even keep the very strong role of tech leads and UI designers.
- Frequent retrospectives became such an important part of software development which helps to improve the process through constant feedback.
- Daily standup meetings resolved the issues earlier than at the end.
- The color coding to the burndown charts to indicate how many tasks are
- New/started/finished this made clear if velocity was high.
- Introduction of spike helps to determine what the effort for the implementation would be.
- During times of changes and certainty, they adopted SCRUM which turned out to be a good choice.
- It took the company a bit of time but it was well-worth and brought about significant differences.
In order to know why such companies have been successful perhaps lies The Agile manifesto published in 2001. Despite what some believe, Agile is not a methodology, but rather an umbrella of values and principles that covers many different frameworks that help an organization to be more efficient and agile. Scrum, Lean or Kanban are often the “how”. The Agile Manifesto listed those principles and values:
1) Individuals and interactions about processes and tools
2) Work on software about complete documentation
3) Collaboration of the client negotiating the contract
4) Respond to changes on the next plan.
In summary, the Agile transformation goes beyond Scrum. It involves reviewing aspects such as structure and organizational design, talent management (former HR area), strategy, and work with suppliers, leadership, etc. The Agile transformation is a change as radical as the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly.
Why do you want to implement Agile?
Through an Agile transformation done patiently and intelligently for years, we can turn the culture of our company into the culture of a High-Performance Organization (HPO), like Amazon or Spotify. We can have a company that prioritizes effectiveness over efficiency and has a closer and more stable relationship with the client.
According to the statistics of failure rates of the project, Agile greatly outperforms Waterfall:
a) Small projects: waterfall 11% vs Agile 4%
b) Medium projects: Cascade 25% vs Agile 11%
c) Major projects: Cascade 42% vs Agile 23%
With Agile, it´s also possible to improve collaboration between teams that do not usually work together, increase the level of software quality, shorten the necessary development time and reduce development costs.
According to a study by André A. de Vaal of the HPO Global Alliance, HPOs are 29% more profitable than non-HPOs, 10% more than Non-HPOs and get 20% ROI (Return on Investment) more than non-HPO.
What problem do you want to solve?
To effectively implement the Agile transformation, it is necessary to understand in depth what problems Agile will solve. The first that comes to mind is resistance to change by workers more accustomed to the old pace of work. But without doubts, there are many more problems at stake:
- The style of leadership is very authoritarian, demanding productivity above all else. The leader makes decisions up-down.
- Power is concentrated in a few people.
- There are a large number of interns solving the problems, with little job stability.
- The company is much departmentalized, and each department deals only with its own duties, selfishly imposing a large amount of administrative work on the middle managers and the rest of the employees.
- The middle management is exhausted, constantly under pressure from the board and must also deal with the problems of their team. They cannot transmit positivity.
- HR is just a personnel department, which does not pay the slightest interest in the personal development of employees.
- Very bureaucratic Quality System.
- The “bosses” permanently seek to hire “super-cracks” in the market, paying them low salaries.
- Hundreds of meetings and e-mails every month, those are very useless.
- Too much bureaucracy and unnecessary operations.
- Little feeling of belonging and loyalty to the company.
- In summary, the idea behind the Agile transformation is to create a more human organization, with real leaders at the forefront, who treat their employees as they deserve and can be a true site of innovation.
Who is your client?
The companies that hire Agile trainers to start the long transition process (which cannot be done in a few months, usually this take years) are usually very bureaucratic companies with a worrying percentage of failed projects and financial losses. The company seeks to preserve its essence at the same time you want to become something new that is able to better face the problems of each day and earn more money than before.
An example of the usefulness of the Agile transformation is the Dutch banking group ING. Inspired by Amazon, ING created 350 squads of nine persons in 13 groups, which helped them to improve time to market and increase productivity. ING wanted to stop thinking traditionally and begin to better understand the new digital world of today.
The idea was to work in multidisciplinary teams, where there would be marketing specialists, user experience designers, data analysts, programmers, and so on. These teams must be united by common objectives.
In addition, ING worked hard to create new roles and a new form of governance. In the IT department, ING invested a lot of money in DevOps and continuous delivery. They managed to make their aspiration to launch new versions of their software much more frequent, every two weeks, instead of having five-six “big releases” per year.
In this way, ING became the number one bank in the Netherlands. Agile proved once again to be the most suitable exit for all customers who want to work more efficiently and profitably.
Change is difficult painful and thus have lot of resistance while implementing it. Leadership should be well prepared for all the hurdles while implementing such change within the organization. Change impacts not only industry structures and strategic positioning but it affects all impartial of an organization (every work, activity, process) and even its increase supply chain. Business leadership must constantly challenge their organizations to ensure this change can unlock productivity cheap and significant competitory advantageous all while delivering exceptional customer experience.