Forbes calls agile as “The World’s most popular innovation engine” back in 2015 and two years later, agile project management methodology has become the most popular project management methodology in the world. Many Fortune 2000 companies are implementing agile methodology and getting brilliant results as well. That is not a surprise. According to Pulse of Profession report, 75% of agile organizations achieve their business goals. In addition to this, 65% agile projects met their deadline and 67% inside the budget.
When you compare these numbers with other project management methodologies, then you will notice a huge difference in project success rates, which speaks volumes about the impact agile methodology, have made on the project management landscape. The biggest obstacle in implementing agile in large-scale enterprises is scalability. The bigger the company size, the more difficult is to scale agile according to your needs. So, what is the solution to this problem? Read on to find out.
What Experts Had To Say
Harish Grama, Vice President of rational product development and customer support at IBM provide a formula to resolve this issue. According to him, there are three key elements to successfully scaling and implementing agile in large enterprises.
According to Jeff Sutherland, co-inventor of Scrum-Agile framework and CEO of Scrum Inc, “Big companies have bigger problems so they cannot afford to have sloppy practices.” Robert Holler, CEO of VersionOne Inc, a vendor for project management tools agrees to the notion that implementing agile in large organization is exponentially more difficult. He said, “You have to treat Agile transformation as a change management process.”On the other hand, Theresa Lanowitz, Founder of Voke Inc warns large organization and tells them to first assess whether agile is the right fit for them or not before implementing it.
Scaling Agile To Fit Large Enterprises
1. Have a Clear Vision
It is important to have a clear vision about what your want to achieve with agile implementation in order to scale it according to your business needs. Without a clear vision, you will struggle to implement agile and benefit from it. This might also lead to rift between different departments in your organization. For instance, a sales representative will ask the project manager about the product vision so they can tell clients in which direction the product might be heading. If the project manager cannot answer the question, it will create problems for not only affect sales but also dent relationships between departments.
2. Involve Your Teams in Planning
With the trend of cross-functional teams gaining ground in corporate world, you can use it to your advantage by involving them into planning phase. You never know a person from a particular department has a great suggestion that might make a huge difference. By involving team members in planning, it will foster trust because they think that their suggestions are being valued. More importantly, they can give you a different take on things, a fresh perspective you might have never thought about.
3. Take the Hybrid Approach
When you compare a large size enterprise with a small business, you will realize that the agile practices both uses and the challenges both faces are the same. The difference comes in the magnitude and scale. The same problem a small business face will also be a problem for a large-scale enterprise but it would be much bigger and complex for large enterprises. In order to successfully scale agile to fit in your business, you need to use a hybrid approach. All you have to do is to stretch the same agile practices used by small businesses over a large scale and you will succeed.
For example, if you have a team comprising of more team members and some of the team members are located in different parts of the world, you cannot use white boards and sticky notes like a small business with a team sitting together in a single room. Just replace those tools with advanced communication tools, which help you convey your message to remote team members. Taking a hybrid approach to agile scalability will provide you with an opportunity to explore the best of both worlds.
Before implementing and scaling agile, you need to identify whether it is the right fit for your organization or not. Have a clear vision and objective you want to achieve with it. Involve your team in planning phase, plan by focusing on essentials in mind. Use a mix and match approach to fit agile according to your business requirements. Do not forget to assess the impact of these changes on key stakeholders such as customers and your team. At the end of the day, this is what will determine the outcome of your efforts. Share your feedback in comments section below.