The first and most important pillar we focus on when you engage SoundAgile is the Transparency Pillar.
The Transparency pillar is important when we move too Agile as we expose fairly quickly the levels of inefficiencies that exist and have mostly been masked by the current culture. Leadership and management aren’t comfortable with transparency because it exposes people (leaders and managers) who work in those inefficient areas. The natural human tendency is to protect what is yours and blame someone else for the problem. We know that if you get enough of the blame you don’t get a promotion or worse you get fired.
What Agile really asks of any organization is this, if something isn’t working what are you going to do to fix it?
Building your Transparency pillar will create the ability for you to both see and quantify the inefficiencies. The quantifying of inefficiencies also leads us to building our Accountability pillar which you can view here.
How can we build transparency?
Create an environment of openness for failure – Most organizations refuse to acknowledge failure. They handle either by playing a blame game or a hide game, neither of which is transparent and doesn’t get us to actually solving the problems Agile is presenting to the organization.
Create Vision and Strategy –
Leadership will need to develop and communicate the reason why moving to Agile is important to the organizations and it’s growth.
Here are some of the reasons NOT to move too Agile:
Everyone else is doing it.
We can do twice as much in half the time with half the people.
Product Strategy - Expect that defining your Product strategy and vision will take many months as you dig through the politics, but getting this clearly defined provides the basis for building your accountability pillars as it clearly defines the underlying value of what the organization needs to deliver.
Products/Capabilities – You’d be surprised how many organizations really haven’t identified what their products really are and have these aligned to their real value streams.
Any organization moving Agile must take the time to truly define their products as this will identify the political boundaries of your organization more quickly than any other effort. Products are often tied to functional areas which in turn are tied to project budgets. The combination of funding projects and the inherent politics this implies is one of the more resistant areas of any organizational change.
Project Management - Further complicating transparency is your Project Management Office, which is focused on reporting on the projects that get funded and aligning their management towards these silos. They enforce the governance that keeps your organization firmly in place. As you identify your Products you will begin to visualize the programs (not projects) that your PMO will need to pivot to in order to support a successful Agile organization. To not take lightly the significant change in your PMO as they are often not suited to managing broader ranging programs.
Performing an audit of your recent projects focused on tangible outcomes will provide a great place to start. Too often we fund projects with a high level business ROI but actually never go back and confirm that we obtained that ROI once the project was completed.
When you are ready SoundAgile consultants with years of experience in defining Agile strategy, Value Steam analysis, Product Capability development and Agile Project Management capabilities can help your organization start on their Agile journey.
To contact us please fill out our contact form here.