SYDNEY, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- More and more companies are embracing a low-risk approach to adopting agile to improve efficacy and efficiency of their programs. Leaders can help bring this to scale by engaging Agile Coaches, helping program leadership and their teams navigate challenges, find solutions, and develop products more efficiently.
Scaled agile coaching experts, Zen Ex Machina, breaks down the reducing the risks of agile transformation.
Executive Sponsorship. Agile is about teams and teams of teams, even for senior executives. When moving to agile, the way executives personally interact with their organisation must change too. To succeed with agile, executives should demonstrate their sponsorship of agile by doing it themselves. While some C-Suite activities are not suited to agile, strategy development and resource allocation, cultivating breakthrough innovations, and improving organisational collaboration are perfectly aligned to iteration and feedback loops. Importantly, it helps executives learn by doing and speak the language of the teams they are empowering.
Company-Provided Training. Learning the basics is an important starting point for different ways of working. Training provides everyone – from executives to teams – with the starting point of what contemporary ways of working looks like, including its roles and its basic practices. Without thorough training, executives and managers won't really understand what's involved in becoming agile. Consequently, they unwittingly continue to manage in ways that run counter to agile principles and practices, undermining the effectiveness of the agile teams in units that report to them.
Start small, not top-down all-in.
Starting small almost guarantees success. There are fewer moving parts to the system of work that you're impacting, there are fewer people to resist change, and it gives executives time to learn from the experience – it's successes and failures – before investing in wider changes that impact how everyone works. Small mistakes become magnified when you do all-in transformation and it can be difficult to recover from. Starting small is ultimately less stressful and a lower risk approach to change.
Consistency is key. When peoples' way of working changes, so does the language and the way they communicate about their work. When everyone has a different perspective of what's expected confusion results, productivity decreases, and the effectiveness of whole programs drops. Confusion and chaos will hold back your teams from delivering. Training helps establish the starting point for consistency but it needs to be reinforced through action. Executives and managers play an important role in reinforcing consistent language, terminology, practices and processes by demonstrating it themselves.
Provide access to experienced agile coaches. Training alone won't reduce the risk of failure of your agile transformation. It tells people how agile works, but doesn't help them apply it to their context. Experience is key to success and vital to ensuring that agile scales successfully and the place to look for experience is in agile coaches. Agile Coaches have years of experience across different organisational contexts with a wide array of agile frameworks. Their job is to support executive, management and teams to start with the basics and start to apply patterns and practices that create consistency as well as the continuous improvement in quality and productivity that agile promises.
About Zen Ex Machina:
Zen Ex Machina's mission is to improve the quality of people's working lives – from executives and their managers through to teams – through contemporary ways of working. Our entire purpose is to help executives transform the way their entire organisation operates, so they become more productive, and more responsive to changing market, customer and stakeholder needs though smarter ways of working. Combining unmatched practical agile experience that spans almost two decades, Zen Ex Machina's consultants work as catalysts to the cultural change that agile demands, combining executive mentoring, change leadership, and agile coaching and training, to embed helps teams, complex programs, and whole organisations, to nimbly adjust to and take advantage of emerging opportunities.
SOURCE Zen Ex Machina