While many large companies have begun their journeys to organizational agility, scaled adoption across the entire business remains a critical challenge for enterprises in multiple sectors. The Capgemini report cites culture and mindset change as significant obstacles in becoming agile and that the required technical dimension is moving too slowly.
It also highlights senior business leaders as still being wedded to traditional approaches of reporting and risk management.
Capgemini’s report entitled “Agile at Scale” explored the challenges in realizing enterprise-wide agility, including the barriers and lessons learned from a series of industry ‘front runners’ in terms of enabling multiple teams to follow agile practices, values, methodologies, and mindsets across functions and levels. It provides four key recommendations for businesses in order to be successful to scale agile.
How to become agile, according to Capgemini
- Experiment. The report indicates that in organizations with limited agile experience, big-bang scaling leads to frustration, as it takes time for agile culture to grow organically. Organizations should start with initiatives closer to the customer – either a flagship customer journey or customer service. Such initiatives should have tangible outcomes, which are easily marketable, are a perfect testing ground for agile and offer significant value.
- Orient. The report highlights the importance of leadership acting as role models by displaying openness to change, investing in continuous learning and adopting new behaviors. The research reveals that hyper-specialization and siloed thinking are big challenges to scaling agile. Instead agile teams are “T-shaped” – in that they have defined areas of specialization (the depth) but are adaptive and can work broadly across other aspects of a project (the breadth).
- Govern. Focus on strategic portfolio management as an agile world needs to connect business strategy with delivery of value across different layers of the organization. This is essential to optimize performance across the enterprise portfolio. Revamp funding by moving away from annual cycles – most agile frontrunners do away with cumbersome annual planning cycles – consisting of approvals, re-approvals, fixed budgets, and controls to give way to adaptive funding.
- Accelerate. Many organizations run agile and DevOps initiatives separately, with the goal of aligning them at a later point. DevOps and agile initiatives can be independent, but there are clear benefits to tie them together as one transformation, for faster software release, cross-collaboration with teams and quality improvement. Furthermore, microservices and agility are well suited to each other.