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5 Tips for Scaling Agile in an Enterprise

Are you tired of complexity and chaos in your organization? Are you ready for clarity and simplicity for you, your team, and your clients? Scaling agile isn’t only for entrepreneurs or start-ups, it makes sense to practice scaling agile in an enterprise too.

What is scaling agile and why does it matter to an enterprise? Scaling agile means your customers are happy, and you and your team are clear on the short and long term.

The scaling agile fundamentals include an intention and focus on outcomes. 

You may already have some scaling agile fundamentals in your enterprise and not even know it. You may want to increase results to the team and the bottom line.

When you think about it, scaling agile is shifting an internal culture. With any type of change or transformation, resistance will arise to meet you.

According to McKinsey, 70% of change management initiatives fail due to employee resistance. Technology matters today and may lead to business success or failure by itself.

To make sure you don’t, we will set you up for success with these scaling agile tips.

5 Tips for Scaling Agile in an Enterprise

We are sharing 5 tips so you and your team are set up for success.

Once you read this, you will be clear on what to do, what not to do, and how to get buy-in your entire team and your clients.

Here are the 5 Tips for Scaling Agile in an Enterprise.

1. Tone at the Top

It is critical to have management fully supporting scaling agile both in word and deed. This means surveys, e-mails, communication, assigning ownership, and ongoing updates.

It is key to have a kick-off meeting. You will want to have a clear plan, ownership of each part, and the desired outcome.

The enterprise should plan for resistance and prepare for it. Clear expectations should be on an outline and communicated. This means having the executive team steps in when there is a roadblock. This alone sends a clear message to the organization no matter what or who it is.

2. Passionate about People

You will want sure the team is passionate about people. You want people excited about the opportunity to collaborate with clients. You want them to be clear on the outcomes to develop software in the shortest amount of time. 

You want the team to feel empowered to collaborate with customers. There should also be an interactive and multidisciplinary approach.

This will help foster unity with development. This factor alone will impact the success or failure of both the agile approach and outcome. 

3. Commitment to Agile

 You want to have a commitment to Agile internally. You also want the customer to buy-in. When there is a commitment to action, it changes everything. You will want to communicate and train on agile values, principles, and practices. This will increase the ease, alignment, and outcomes for everyone.

You may want to think about certifications or training with this trusted provider. It will make everything simpler when everyone is speaking the same language.
If someone is derailing the commitment, this must also be addressed sooner rather than later. This alone could lead to the complete failure of the entire agile approach.

Typically, the higher the level of a role, the greater the impact on the project.

4. Rapid Response

 With the agile approach, the goal is to develop software in the shortest amount of time. As a result, it is necessary to have a team committed to rapid response.

There will be times that rapid prototypes are necessary to move to the next phase of the development. There will be times to test prototypes, and present to customers for feedback. It is important to keep in mind rapid prototypes are half of the equation. It will be necessary to set guidelines upfront for fast feedback loops.

You will want to set a standard and a matrix. This will mean grouping prototypes into segments with 1-3 response time expectations. It is a recommendation to set these before any contractual agreements.

This will help keep everyone on the same page for requirements and timing.

5. 100% Ownership

Last, but not least, 100% ownership. It is important to communicate this upfront within the enterprise and the client. Every person must own their part.

If any part or person does not do their part, it is likely the agile approach will derail. It is also likely the product and the timing anticipated will not happen. It will be exactly like the domino effect.

This also ties back to #1. It is important to set up expectations of 1-3 follow-ups with escalation. Who the escalation goes will depend based on the impact of the item to the project, outcomes, and timeline. 

Scaling Agile

It is important to point out that you assess where your enterprise is currently. A great place to start is with these five tips for scaling agile. You may want to grade your enterprise and the client on a scale of 1-5 in each area. You may want to also note what roadblocks currently exist that will likely cause failure.

If you take action to address these before scaling, it will save you time and money. When we take a preventative approach in anything in life, the impact is much greater in the long run.

Whether you follow these five tips before scaling or in development, you will see an impact. You will increase the likelihood of success of taking on an agile approach.

Please comment on what was your favorite tips are.

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