So your team would like to try this new technique called “Agile.” You have heard about this for the past few years, and you see that it is becoming very popular with many companies, but you are unsure whether you are ready to make the change.
How can you tell if you are ready to give this a try? Here are a few questions that should help you decide.
Question #1 – Is there an urgent problem that requires attention?
If your business/organization facing mission-critical challenges? In other words, is there a motivation to try something different in order to make a turn-around? Some business organizations need a “burning platform” to rally around in order to gain unified support from top to bottom. Simply making a change in process for the sake of changing is usually frowned upon, and will usually not gain the right level of commitment to make it a success.
If there is an urgent need, making a change in mindset and approach may be just what you need.
Question #2 – Is your organization ready to invest in its people?
In order to successfully adopt Agile practices, foundational knowledge as well as professional coaching are essential elements that cannot be skipped. From my experience, organizations that try to cut corners on either of these usually struggle with adoption or waste a lot of time and money trying to figure things out on their own without the proper basic understanding.
An Agile transformation will require funding, often a lot more than people may realize. If your organization does not have the ability to allocate funds for this endeavor, perhaps it is not quite ready to make this commitment.
Question #3 – Does your organization have a “growth mindset?”
A “growth mindset” is one that seeks continuous, perpetual improvement. Some organizations inherently operate in this manner, while others need to expend energy to develop this culture. Where your organization is situated will likely have a big impact on the amount of time and effort (a.k.a. money) that it will require to implement a successful Agile adoption.
In my opinion, most organizations can gain value out of an Agile approach, regardless of what products or services they deliver. Sometimes, timing is the key to making a change. If you believe that the time is not right, you can always revisit these questions later on and re-assess where you stand. In this dynamic world, things will likely be very different in 3 or 6 months!