It’s is amazing what hoops companies go through implementing better software development practices, as everyone, from developers to testers to product management to executive management, has to have input for it to get better. As with many things, companies are doing some continuous improvement in many areas, but takes a while for executives to “let go” and let the teams below run themselves. Agile or LEAN development processes tend to expose issues and who is the impediment, so we find the ‘people’ element is more difficult to change than the processes.
The current state lies with many companies having embraced Agile at a development team level, with project/product managers/business analysts/scrum masters very involved in the process. It gets difficult when these continuous improvement ideas begin scaling higher up in the organizations past the program managers to those at the top who are running the company’s portfolios.
While Agile development processes and buzzwords have become very common in many organizations, so have the challenges it takes to adopt and scale these concepts successfully to drive real transformational value and change. Whether your organization is testing the waters in the shallow end of the pool, or building on some past successful projects, the need for a supporting cast of resources along the way along with establishing trust and fostering true collaboration hasn’t changed. From the developers and testers to product management, business analysts, project managers, program managers, to portfolio managers and executive management, everyone plays an important role in the success.
Any transformational change has to start with executive support and establishing the right organizational structure underneath to allow Agile to succeed. In most organizations this journey typically consists of improving collaboration between all team members, whether they are located on-site, off-site, or off-shore. At the top, there has to be leadership buy-in and an aligned strategy bi-directionally throughout the organization, with a clear understanding of where they are “adopting” Agile practices vs. enabling real transformation. These are two different concepts that bring us to the crux of the challenge in many organizations. The business objectives have to be aligned with the underlying management and thus development team structures to support agility and eventually, letting go and empowering and trusting team members as they adopt these new processes.
Evolving an organization from traditional “waterfall” development methodologies to a more predictable, consistent, and business-aligned model with visibility into every phase of a project and how it’s proceeding doesn’t happen overnight, but in addition to the strategy and underlying framework, we arrive at the core assets every company must leverage and believe in, it’s resources. As Agile and LEAN development become a standard, adopted Enterprise-wide, resources like project, program, and portfolio managers with Agile specific experience are more in-demand.
Charter Global has worked with many organizations globally assisting with strategy validation, providing resources for assisting teams with delivering development projects, to providing 24/7 support and ongoing maintenance. No matter where your organization is on this journey to continuously improve, we can help.