Agility is the ability to adapt and respond to change … agile organisations view change as an opportunity, not a threat- Jim Highsmith
The difference between traditional businesses and Agile organisations is quite apparent. The first and noticeable difference is the ’ agile manifesto’, which promotes constant changes, inspection, and adaptation. As compared to traditional organisations, Agile lead businesses can inspect, adapt and change. In short, they can embrace change management, fulfil changing customer demands, understand real-world conditions and take full advantage of unpredictable markets.
What should management do when it comes to the agile transformation? Many leaders and managers ask this common question. The answer may sound like this:
- Maybe you can send someone to signify your management and then assign tasks to those individuals.
- Replace the Scrum master every two weeks in the team member.
- Be a change agent for the system and be committed to quality.
In other words, these are the common solutions we hear when it comes to creating a competitive advantage. Those days are gone when organisations used bureaucratic hierarchies. Now, they are replaced with the speed, value delivery, and innovation of agility.
Speaking of the year 2021, management nowadays is adopting a lean-agile approach. This approach was initially made for the smaller teams, but it has benefitted large organisations in the last few years.
According to research, the method of lean-agile can reduce the market time by at least 40%. However, scaling is not just about team efficiency maximisation; instead, it distinguishes the business from the previous agile operating models. When scaling agile, the principles are beyond only agile software development and IT. Lean agile can bring many benefits at each level of management.
In this article, we’ll find how management can successfully transform itself with the help of lean-agile scaling management.
How to Have Successful Agile Transformation through Lean-Agile Scaling?
Scaled Agile Framework says that conventional agile teams work best in teams of 5-11 members. But when organisations see success in the smaller groups, they also want to see the success at an organisational level.
Lean-agile scaling refers to translating the agile methods and implementing lean thinking such as Kanban and Scrum within the organisation on a broader level. On the other hand, this scaling is not as simple as applying agile principles to the whole organisation and department. When the lean-agile is scaled, several factors contribute to the entire process. The attributes include:
- Role specialisation
- Team size
- Role of product owner
- Iteration length
- Role of user
- Size of the batch
- Definition of release
- Definition of done/Definition of reading
Each component from the above list plays an essential role in the successful scaling of agile. On the flip side, getting everything right is tricky. Lean agile transformation for the leaders, managers, and suppliers should be considered a large-scale transformation because of the involvement of the cross-functional teams and the entire organisation.
The reasons behind considering it as a large-scale transformation include:
- The management teams are transferring from the traditional structure to the lean-agile structure.
- They are shifting from conventional management and leadershipto the lean-agile workflow assistance.
- From the traditional financial structure and conventional funding’s to the lean-agile budget approaches.
- Getting away from project structure to the lean-agile portfolio, transparency, and focused flow.
Those organisations who are on the roadmap to the lean-agile and spending their resources, time, and budget on the scaling of lean-agile, should understand that this transformation is a state of maturity where the leadership team is entirely aware of the purpose, goals, focus on the efforts that are needed to apply for a complete transformation of the organisation. On the other side, the other method is to transform the team, and this transformation will be partial. The managers and leaders are not included in this transformational scope, and later on, they’ll be trained on the lean-agile mindset.
We’ve discussed much the lean agile development on a larger scale but how the management effectively achieves the organisational change through the large scale lean-agile. These are the set of rules that should be adopted in any large-scale transformation:
- The transformation scope should have a specific set of roles, including leadership, teams, management, suppliers, and support teams.
- A safe implementation roadmap including a timeline for an already set of goals since the organisation is on the way to adopt the lean-agile practice with the help of the value stream approach.
- Lean and Agile basic building blocks and lean-agile methodologies can be combined with the Kanban and Scrum boards.
- Solidand robust metrics reflect the whole transformation process, value delivery, continuous improvement, and maturity.
Scaling Lean-Agile Benefits
- Improve the Management Capacity
Capacity management is one of the agile ways and is usually known for balancing availability and workload. With the scaled agile approach, the capacity management aligns with the ARTs, teams and reassesses every quarter. This helps create value while allowing for flexibility and change while empowering the enterprise leaders to balance out and with minimal disruption reflect regularly with minimum disruption and lead time.
- Engages the Employees
Scaling agile offers in-built freedom and creates trust in the team and at individual levels. When it comes to decision-making, every individual decides how they will deliver the work and how their contributions impact the business’s overall goals.
- Align Work and Strategy
When there is precise alignment between the top-level enterprise objectives and the employees, those who are responsible for meeting those objectives makes the various long-term effects like:
- Encouraging the transparency
- Fostering response times quickly
- Enhancing the agility
- Cross-team coordination boost
- Enabling Visibility in Organisation-Wide Transparency
Agile leaders and agile coaches help scale the lean-agile, visualise and connect the work for every team while enabling enterprise-wide transparency. Through this visibility, everyone in the organisation clearly and consistently sees how everyone works in the organisation.
If we talk about today’s era, successfully transacting from the traditional management system to agile management is complex, mainly when we live in a digitally disruptive environment. The modern problem requires a modern solution and lean-agile scaling is the modern solution to managing agile issues. To cut the story short, the readiness of management remains the key factor in the successful agile transformation.