Expanding Agile to All Organizational Areas

Nov 21, 2018 | Insights

The majority of our clients are asking about agile transformations not only in IT, but beyond! We’ve helped national and international clients leverage agile methods in marketing, HR, and product development to name a few areas. Other industry leaders are recognizing this nimble approach in areas outside of IT and finding success, however non- IT-focused organizations have little to no experience with agile methods.

In one recent survey published in Harvard Business Review’s recent article in the March-April 2018 issue, “HR Goes Agile,” 63% of the respondents indicated that their company culture were at odds with agile values. Further, 47% lacked experience with agile methods. The article focuses on agile methods in HR including evolutions in coaching, evaluations, team vs. individual performance and is a great source of information for those considering agile transformations in 2019.

6 key items for organizational agile transformations

When considering an agile transformation, leveraging change management approaches can help achieve results faster. No matter the organizational area, these six principles apply:

1. Start with a quick win. Find your supporters and early adopters. Bring them in first. Help them understand the strategy and build the plan forward. Continued support beyond initial phases is essential.

2. Start small and grow. Enterprise transitions are doable, certainly. Consider however working on a subset of your overall goal, deliver well, highlight the successes, and build on the momentum.

3. Education for all. Training is key. Start at the top. Include your early adopters – make it special so others will flock towards it. Provide training opportunities for all.

4. Plan for disruption. You will likely encounter some organizational resistance. Help everyone understand the “why” and the “WIFM” (what’s in it for me). This should help get the majority behind you.

5. Highlight wins and challenges. Show your wins. How you are achieving your strategy goes a long way to winning naysayers over. Transparency with challenges builds trust. Create and maintain a strong communication program.

6. Have patience and reinforce the goal. Remember this is a journey! Don’t plan to change the world overnight. Keep going. Reinforce the vision, highlight successes, and you will get there.

Thoughtful transformation

Whether industry leaders or early disruptors, businesses today must continuously transform to maintain their competitive edge. The speed of technological and organizational change is happening at a record pace, providing business leaders with new and complex challenges that must be navigated thoughtfully and decisively. If you are considering how agile might help you with your competitive edge, we’d love to connect and share some of our Loft9 successes.