How to mess up your agile transformation in seven easy (mis)steps  

13 April 2018:

You have to give it to Silicon Valley: it sure knows how to disrupt industries. It has left its mark on every facet of our life—from how we socialize and interact, to how we travel, how we earn, and how we pay. The scale of impact has led to traditional companies in the ecosystem asking themselves, How do we get our large organizations to adapt and move as quickly as these nimble start-ups? The answer in many cases has to do with being more agile.

Agile principles have been one of the key drivers of Silicon Valley’s ability to innovate, learn, and adapt rapidly. Agile started as a set of principles for software development to write and release code iteratively without waiting for months (or years) to release functionality. The term “agile” has now expanded to many facets of solution development with the same underlying principles—develop iteratively, release frequently, focus on the customer, and collaborate through a cross-functional team—always prioritizing test-and-learn methods over detailed planning. Beyond solution development, we are designing and implementing enterprise-wide operating models based on these principles.

While many traditional heavyweights have embarked on agile transformations, most have faced real challenges in achieving their desired objectives. Based on our experience across numerous transformations, we see the following as common missteps on an agile journey.

Misstep 1: Not having alignment on the aspiration and value of an agile transformation
Agile, fundamentally, is a redesign of the operating model of (parts of) the enterprise. We have often seen organizations embark on such transformations without first ensuring alignment among the leaders of the organization on the aspiration and value of the transformation.

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Source: McKinsey

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