Thursday, March 30

How to extend Agile practices throughout the company

Applying Agile practices can make workers up to 21% more productive

Most Companies are already using Agile practices and are aware of the advantages it brings to development teams: direct participation of users in projects, management of expectations with short-term results, very short development cycles that allow feedback and adaptation of projects to needs, motivated teams involved in the results… Today, no one disputes that they produce greater productivity and a much greater understanding between developers and users.

The question is, could we extend Agile practices to the entire company? Makes sense? How can we do it and what are the advantages?

Of course it makes perfect sense to do so and it is a trend that many organizations are already following. It’s called Enterprise Agility. It consists of spreading the mentality of working in shorter cycles throughout the Organization and extending this practice to business planning. The use of the Agile mentality throughout the Organization produces benefits similar to those obtained in development teams. This trend is supported by advances in digitization and the digital economy, where greater agility is required and it is necessary to make decisions and respond quickly to changes or threats that occur continuously.

The Company Strategy involves multiple teams, multiple programs, business activity, product creation, technical development, support staff, etc. All these teams must be coordinated and aligned. The agile practices At a business level, they encourage collaboration between the different teams, linking business strategy and commercial activity with product development and IT development. The goal is for all employees to know the strategy and how their project is contributing to it. On the other hand, Agile facilitates the adaptation of the organization to changes in market situations or new needs, knowing immediately the impact of these changes in all programs and projects and allowing teams to adapt to these changes.

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The benefits of a Agile Business Strategy they consist of better coordination between users and technical personnel, a better response to market changes and predictable deliveries known throughout the Organization.

As in other areas, technology changes how work is carried out and we must also rely on tools to carry out Strategic Planning and ensure that the entire company is coordinated and aligned with the defined strategy.

As technology initiatives become increasingly complex, having a single view is essential. This vision can be extended to the entire organization, allowing all employees to know the strategy, know how it contributes and be aligned with it.

Advantages of Agile practices

Among others, the ability to align technical teams with the business strategy stands out, it makes it possible to quickly determine the scope of the changes and identify the dependencies between teams, products and services, it makes it easier to quickly reach consensus on the best way to achieve the objective, accelerates the times of commercialization (“time to market”), identifying the workflows that allow decision-making based on the prioritization of activities and faster deliveries and, in addition, enables the enhancement of improvements. On the other hand, the existence of reports allows each team to demonstrate how the improvements implemented have increased the speed of time-to-market, or how delivery times are being reduced through continuous improvement.

Most Companies are already using Agile practices and are aware of the advantages it brings to development teams

To all of the above we can add the these tools give visibility to the work of all teams, maintaining a greater commitment of all employees and, last but not least, they enable the availability of metrics and dashboards on the real-time situation of all teams and projects.

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All available data can be exported to a BI environment allowing its analysis. This makes it possible to reliably relate information on the strategy, investments, business vision, customer needs, and delivered products and projects. With all the information available based on reliable data and research from the product teams, decisions can be made based on data. The improvement of the results will be assured.

The use of a tool Business Planning It does not imply that all teams have to adapt to a specific methodology or a way of doing the work. The best tools support most methodologies such as Safe, Scrum, Lean or LeSS and also allow custom or hybrid environments. This makes it easier for each work team to use the methodology that best suits their characteristics. For example, a development team may continue to use Scrum while a team working on process improvements may find that they are better off using Lean for their work.

There are several tools for Agile Strategic Planning. Among the most interesting is Jira Align from Atlassian. It appears as the best rated in the Gartner report, it meets all the features mentioned as important and desirable and, surely, your organization is already using Jira for other uses, which will make it easy to get started with it.

Extending Agile practices to Strategic Planning has many advantages for organizations and is essential to be able to compete in an increasingly changing digital world. That the entire organization is aligned with the strategic objectives and can be followed in detail, and that the company can assess and follow any change that is decided in the business or business strategy Knowing the impact on all ongoing projects is necessary and contributes to improving results. Change the mentality of the organization and think of short cycles asIf it is about creating new products or carrying out projects, it has great advantages. It is also a very useful tool to help in Digital Transformation. Think how to extend Agile to Strategic Planning! The results will be visible in a short time.

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By Guillermo Montoya, CEO of DEISER

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