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Agile-led transformation – integrating people, process, technology

Suryakant Lokhande Aug 20, 2019

Introduction

Agile-led transformation plays a significant role in the organization's endeavor to maintain proper balance in people, process and technology. This blog explains how agile-led transformation can help in integrating people, process and technology in an organization.

About Agile

Agile is more than a process, framework or a methodology. It is a passage to get into a new era of delivery and execution moving from an old traditional way. Agile helps teams to deliver result faster compared to older ways of execution. The big differentiator with Agile as compared to other methodologies resides in its four values defined in the Agile manifesto.

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

With the above values, agile teams can deliver results faster with significant quality and predictability. In agile projects, teams are cross-functional, collaborative and self-organizing. Focus is given to the aspect of responsibility rather than roles. Agile helps organizations to execute projects with more transparent ways. All stakeholders are closely engaged and can see the team’s progress throughout execution. The close engagement of stakeholder allows them to have more clarity of the project schedule, budget, resource allocation and utilization. This helps them to predict the output of the project in the very early stages of the project.

Agile allows and easily accommodates the changes during the project execution and this is one of the key advantages to customers. In previous older methods, this was one of the key impediments. In agile, customers are allowed to prioritize the development tasks as per their current needs and add additional important tasks which were missed in the initial stages.

Agile Transformation

Most of the current organizational structures are more rigid and makes it difficult to successfully implement agile with its full potential. The three pillars - people, process and technology are important factors for the organization during change. Transforming these three pillars aligned with agile can allow organizations to move themselves from the old traditional way to agile-led transformation.

Today, many organizations are heavily investing in agile-led transformation. But before moving to agile, organizations need to understand the key strengths of their business and how agile can help in improving it. As it is well known, agile is better suited for IT and its related businesses. It’s hard to apply agile methodology for industries where things need to be executed in sequence and hardly changes are accepted in execution.

The three important pillars of the organization for agile transformation –

A true agile transformation can be completed when you tightly integrate the three pillars – people, process and technology. The integrated pillars will be more effective and result oriented to create the knowledge enabled organization.

People

People are an important asset of the organization and hence it is equally important to have the right people in the organization. People play a very essential role in bringing the agile culture in the organization. An organization needs to handle people very sensibly and tactfully to bring positive change. It’s very easy to complain about people and give them a pink slip but it takes several years to bring the right kind of people in the organization.

To implement agile in an effective way, organizations need to employ people-centric activities to create a positive attitude in peoples mind. The purpose of this is to create trust in the environment and among people and teams. This develops an aligned thought process with the organization's goal. People must be nurtured with the right skills and confidence to use those skills to drive the organization in the right direction.

Leadership demands collaboration and measures performance by it. Agile organizations promote and sustain an environment where people share what they think others need to know because there is high trust and a partnering mindset involved.

Below are a few important guidelines that will help to work on people pillar to transform the organization into agility:

  • Enable people and create leadership strategies
  • Allow environment in the organization for change
  • Enable effective communication and collaboration between people
  • Focus on creating a positive attitude with a similar mindset

Process

Every organization runs with certain processes that help people involved to achieve its goal systematically. It is not easy to execute the operations in an organization without the help of these processes. Process plays a principal role in smooth executions of operations.
Organizations usually adopt various processes with its related standards and train their people to follow the process in their day to day operations. The continuous improvement of the process is very important and improved process needs to be adopted in operation without any delay for smooth operations.
Any organization’s prime focus is to keep their customers happy and satisfactory and it can be achieved by providing the expected output on time. To deliver quality outcomes on time, it is necessary to follow standard result-oriented processes.

Some important guidelines for process pillar are:

  • Nurture positive attitude so people are ready to adopt change
  • Both technology and people must be flexible to accept the process and change in the process
  • The process must be in continuous improvement mode to map the current need of organization

Technology

In the digital era, technology is most essential for any organization to drive its business and to be successful – this is quintessential in the IT business. Organizations regularly update their skill set as per customers' requirement to deliver the expected output.

Organizations should always focus on people and ensure their collective knowledge is secure, visible and easily accessible. There should be a common knowledge base or pool where people can upload their knowledge and can download the information easily. Automation and digitization of process help in day to day operations that makes all tasks straight and easy. The industry-standard practices must be followed to bring quality output.

The guidelines to work on technology pillar are as below:

  • Choose technology which is flexible enough to adapt to the process
  • Technology should be easy to use and user-friendly
  • Plan long term architectural strategies in technology

Conclusion

Agile transformation can be carried out by working together hand in hand and integrating three pillars – people, process and technology. It is impossible to transform organization without having a proper balance in these three pillars.

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