Know why you are doing it

It may seem obvious, but many organisations have never asked the question “why?” As with sound product development, the person spending the money needs to be very clear why they are doing so. Any change programme has costs associated with it, so the benefits and the business case need to be clear.

This supports the agile transformation by ensuring value-based decisions are made throughout and provide a mechanism for evaluating progress and success. For the leadership team it is important that the characteristics of an agile organisation are agreed and clear, as it is easy to be misaligned. Agility in Mind helps senior teams to achieve this through workshop activities, the outcomes of which are:

  • A leadership team with a common understanding and purpose
  • A clear vision for an agile business
  • A plan to communicate the vison to the wider team

Understand the constraints

We operate in the real world. Large enterprises have particular constraints to do with geography, capacity, legacy and governance. People also perceive there are constraints because things have always been a certain way, so it’s important to differentiate between belief and reality.

Either way, there are some constraints that can be challenged head-on and included within the transformation programme; there are others that may take significant investment or be beyond the sphere of influence of the people involved and so just have to be part of the solution.


Unless there is an understanding of “why” and “what is valuable”, there will be little chance of prioritising the approach.

The reason for prioritising on the change programme is to ensure we do the most valuable things first, that build confidence and provide return on investment.

Incremental change

A bit at a time is the best way to eat an elephant, but many organisations take on too much and try to swallow it whole. Getting momentum based upon prioritised change is the best way.

This might mean, for example, beginning with one small team who may have fewer constraints, getting them working and showcasing the progress and results. Others will then want to be a part of the change. Starting small and scaling quickly based on success builds confidence that change will stick and achieve the outcomes that are needed.

Measure progress

Based upon the understanding of value for the adoption with prioritised and incremental change, it is possible to identify key metrics that demonstrate change is having an impact.

These could be specific delivery-oriented metrics such as product lead time or may include measures of confidence within teams or stakeholders.

By making them visible, people see there is a point to the process.

Knowing that change can have a short-term detrimental impact on metrics is also important to know, but even when this happens, it provides insight and prompts discussion and action.

Continuous improvement

An agile organisation is one which constantly seeks to inspect the way things are done and adapt to changing conditions.

This requires a culture of continuous improvement, where individuals have the confidence to question how things are done and make changes for the better.

With this approach, individuals, teams and the organisation build a sustainable approach to continuous improvement and remove dependencies upon external coaching and training organisations.

Agile Transformation Kick-Start

Our Agile Transformation Kick-Start is a focused package of agile transformation consulting and expert advice. Setting off in the right direction and gaining momentum quickly means your organisation will achieve the greatest return from the investment required for a programme of agile transformation.

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