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The rare time maturing is better – Agile across organisations


Maturing Agile across organisations 

Many organisations today have had a taste of Agile. From pilot agile teams to transforming the entire organisation to adopt an agile mindset. Not everyone who has implemented agile has realised the expected business benefits promoted.  

Agile works for teams but not at an organisation-wide level 

A common perception is that agile is great for teams delivering incremental value (eg software teams delivering features). But is not relevant at an organisational level to deliver strategic initiatives and a step change in productivity, revenue or cost optimisation.  

Have you adopted both an agile mindset AND agile processes? 

Many teams and organisations can point to the adoption of agile ceremonies and vernacular as “proof” of being agile. An agile mindset is more than process. It’s delivering value iteratively in all areas of the business and it’s putting the customer at the centre of the work being done.  You need to adopt both mindset and processes to realise the benefits of agile.

Common challenges maturing agile for success 

There are common challenges at organisations looking to mature agile across the organisation at team level, portfolio/program level and organisation level. 

Outlined below are some common challenges we have seen: 

Team level:

Solutions/products being delivered favour only customer OR business value 

Value is only delivered at the end of a long term project (12+ months) 

Portfolio level: 

Different localised agile behaviours in teams leading to a lack of consistency in delivery 

Within complex programs, vendors using different frameworks and different levels of agile maturity.  This too leads to a lack of consistency in delivery 

Organisation level: 

A lack of alignment between the organisation’s strategy and what the teams are delivering 

Decisions on prioritisation and funding can take a long time and lack transparency 

Agile delivery models need to evolve to deliver at scale 

After the initial rollout, there will come an inflection point where the current Agile framework must evolve and be augmented to be able to help mature agile across the organisation (especially when we talk about enterprise planning and areas such as risk, HR, marketing, etc.). There needs to be a focus on unblocking operating model issues to deliver organisational agility at scale that covers all areas of the organisation, allowing for a uniform approach to Agile that works. 

Knowing where to start 

It is critical to first establish a baseline for tracking maturity and continuous improvement so you know the work being done is making a difference in uplifting the broader maturity across the organisation as well as solving your challenges.  

Seven pillars supporting an agile mindset and processes 

A baseline assessment helps determine what is working well and can be amplified and shared across the organisation. It also helps identify the highest priority opportunities to unblock the operational model issues to bring a step change in realising tangible business benefits. The assessment identifies both agile processes and mindset opportunities to mature.  

At ADAPTOVATE we use the below agnostic methodology to augment the existing framework at our clients. We use business value and behavioural/cultural change metrics to provide quantifiable measures of increasing maturity, across both process and mindset.  

Tips to mature and scale agile 

Based on our experience helping organisations globally mature and scale agile ways of working to realise tangible business benefits, below are a few examples of ways to improve your agile maturity: 

  1. Establish broad alignment on purpose with an effective quarterly delivery cycle 
  1. Update the governance and funding model to increase alignment, speed-to-market and experimentation using Objectives & Key Results and persistent team missions to facilitate team autonomy.  
  1. Update the operating model to allow for rapid development and iteration of products balanced with a focus on functional capability uplift. The updated operating model should include general ‘role types’ to remove barriers to movement and cross-skilling 
  1. Increase consistency in agile processes across the organisation through a “living” agile playbook 
  1. Coach executives, product owners, teams and scrum masters on agile mindset as well as processes to achieve improved outcomes 

Want to hear about additional ways to mature and scale agile to realise tangible business benefits? Get in touch with us at growth@adaptovate.com 


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