Enterprise-level practices can seem a little intimidating to smaller businesses, but they shouldn’t be!
After all, every business is an enterprise. And you can run alongside the big guys with the right mindset.
Especially as your business grows, you need to find ways to adapt and apply the same methodologies you have worked so hard to implement. So enterprise agile practices could be the key to seamless growth.
The agile enterprise is fast-moving, flexible, and robust — capable of rapid response to unexpected challenges, events, and opportunities.
If your business has made it through the last couple of years, then chances are you’re adopting a little of the agile enterprise mindset already.
Agile methodologies like Scrum have been designed for small teams in small organizations. They aim to streamline processes and get the very best out of small teams by removing the bloat from project management.
Enterprise agile frameworks are mostly similar to regular agile frameworks. They aim to give teams the same benefits as regular agile practices, just on a much larger level.
According to a 2020 McKinsey survey, 76% of enterprises see transforming culture and ways of working as the biggest challenge when it comes to workplace transformation.
To make it simple, enterprises need to keep track of the changes and adjust to find the right balance. Enter, agile practices.
For businesses already using agile methodologies, the transformation shouldn’t be too difficult. However, if your enterprise is new to agile, you’ll need to gradually introduce the practices and roll out the agile transformation step by step.
Let’s see what steps do enterprises need to take to become agile.
Overhauling your practices is a big step to take. And you need to make sure you’re triggering such substantial changes for all the right reasons. “Everyone else is doing it” is unlikely to inspire company-wide support for your agile rollout, nor will it help you truly succeed.
The first step in the transformation process is to define why your business should change. This could be something as simple as needing to generate more revenue or a reduction in wasted money and resources.
Transformation requires regular check-ins and long-term changes, but the last thing you need to be doing is micromanaging every single team in the organization. The agile solution to this issue is to create empowered teams.
This is when agile coaching comes in handy. Throughout the agile transformation, some team members will struggle. Addressing any issues is crucial to making the transformation successful.
The aim here is to empower your teams with an agile mindset, a set of competencies, and techniques. This will help you to build self-sustaining teams that feel confident with agile practices and can handle their own business.
Enterprise agility is a flexible practice that requires equally flexible tools.
Ideally, you will use a cross-team communication tool that also offers a range of project management solutions in one, easy to use, cloud-based platform (hey, that sounds familiar).
This will guarantee seamless data exchange and transparency, while offering the ability to immediately recover data in case of a mistake.
Once you have the right tools and knowledge to help your teams successfully adapt, now it’s time to start rolling out new practices. It’s important to take your time with a substantial transformation like this, especially in the earlier stages.
Introduce hands-on governance, iterative approaches to project delivery, active communication with clients, and invest your efforts in building and maintaining this agile structure.
Once your teams are aligned with the new methodologies, it's time to move on to organizational change. This is a key step in making sure that the transformation sticks.
You’ll often have higher-ups and stakeholders that advocate for sticking with the status quo, and this is your chance to prove them wrong! To do so, you need to present cold, hard data that supports your call for change.
Make sure to keep track of key metrics throughout the team-level transformation process that can help during this phase.
The business world is constantly changing. Customers come and go, trends change, and the market often ebbs and flows. Agile methodologies highlight further ways to change and improve your processes, so you can adapt as and when you need to.
Not all enterprise agile transformations are successful.
Enterprise agile teams fail for a number of reasons including:
To realize the true value of any project — agile transformation included — you need to know why you’re doing it before you start.
Agile methodologies like to look at a product from the customer’s perspective. This can take the focus away from the basic issues surrounding product development, cost, resources, benefits to the business, and other key metrics.
It’s a common concern from senior management and stakeholders when it comes to agile transformation, so remember to keep one eye on your KPIs as you progress the project.
Agile teaches us to roll with the punches and quickly adapt. Something as simple as customer feedback could be a signal to rethink the entire project.
It’s important to account for this in the planning stages of enterprise agile transformation, to avoid a pivot in strategy that leads to a total standstill. Make sure to allocate a good amount of time for unplanned work, just in case!
Following on from the previous point, teams need a manageable schedule to ensure that the product is being developed in a way that adds value.
Failing to offer your teams enough time to get the job done will mean that many are working on multiple tasks at the same time. This results in employee burnout, poor quality work, and ultimately, a failed product.
Have you explored the range of modular functions and features available through airfocus?
If not, now’s the time — especially if you’re planning on adopting an enterprise agile mindset.
Try airfocus for free today.