When it comes to software development, nothing can beat the agile approach even after many decades, and with many other options in the market, nothing comes even closer to the result given by the agile approach in the case of software development. Although there are many other non-tech projects where agile has become a start, still, the software development project is the one field where agile works like a magic wand. With the Agile approach, the software development team can deliver more value to the client, and that too at a much faster rate.
But scaling agile requires an extension of the different Agile principles not only to IT and software development but to other parts of the business as well, and that too, both horizontally and vertically. With scaling agile, a firm can harness a longer list of benefits, but along with a long list of advantages, scaling Agile comes along with a couple of challenges as well.
This is why, in this blog post, we will learn how you can recognize and overcome the challenges that come along with scaling Agile.
What is scaling Agile?
Scaling Agile simply means the translation of different Agile frameworks like Kanban and Scrum in bigger teams. While the traditional Agile framework works best for only 5 to 11 people, Scaling Agile has no such limitations during implementation.
When companies see the success of traditional Agile implementation in small groups, they want to implement this approach in larger groups as well, and this is where scaling Agile comes into the picture.
The three most common challenges of scaling Agile
Instead of being considered as just a set of practices, Agile is considered as a culture. And when it comes to scaling Agile, it can act both as a drawback and an advantage. The importance of a shared mindset is always more in comparison to the framework used to scale Agile, but in this case, a much bigger issue is the creation of a shared mindset.
For scaling Agile, the entire firm should act, think and respond differently in every aspect. From employee engagement to how things are planned and implemented, the thought process should be different. Such a transformation in the organization requires time and resources, but most importantly, it requires commitment and focus from the top.
For successful scaling to Agile, all the leaders in the firm must understand the lean-Agile mindset. In addition to this, all Agile leaders should always be ready to adjust their management style, and they should also be prepared to challenge the status quo.
Work management shift
The cultural shift required in scaling Agile introduces the principles of maximizing customer value and giving the best. But for transforming these principles gained from the cultural shift into reality, a firm needs to shift the work management method as this will enable value to flow easily.
The fixed scope is the central aspect of any type of traditional work management approach, and both the resources and time are estimated according to that fixed scope. So, the basic idea here is to be proactive when clearly defining requirements as it helps reduce risk and maximize the chances of success.
But the lean-agile approach flips this traditional paradigm. In the case of lean-Agile, both the resources and time become fixed through teams of people and iteration windows, while the scope becomes more fluid as it is affected by continuous change and adjustments.
An organization that is looking forward to scaling Agile must address its technological stack. The three main aspects on which any organization has to focus on while scaling Agile are better flow of information, increased transparency, and better visibility of the process and the task. And for this, most firms have to go through a phase of augmentation or replacement of technological solutions.
For example, if both corporate objectives and finance are being handled in one solution and the delivery of tasks is tracked through another solution, the delivery team will find itself disconnected from the overall strategic goal.
The technological solutions being used while scaling Agile should provide proper alignment at all the tactical levels. And if you have successfully overcome the cultural and workflow challenges, the team can never embrace scaling Agile if they will not be provided with the right solutions.
So, it doesn’t matter which type of approach you are using for scaling Agile; you should always focus on making changes in technological solutions or completely replacing them if required.
Scaling Agile can act as a panacea for many firms, but this doesn’t mean that you don’t have to deal with any type of challenges during the transformational process. So, just use the right approach and make the required changes for scaling Agile while suppressing all the challenges.