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Winning Practices for CIOs to Create Agile Enterprise

Prakash Jha

Agility is igniting minds of business leaders. Many of them have broken the code – recognized that being agile has transformational benefits such as greater ROI, better project control, higher customer satisfaction, improved product quality and reduced risks. These appealing benefits have motivated them to become more agile and responsive.

Rather than struggling in the middle of challenging markets and changing business landscape, they have understood the demand for technology-driven, responsive and customer-focused services.

This encourage leaders to transform their business strategy for faster, better and cheaper service offerings. Embracing this move can be thought-provoking. But how a business leader can sustain working at the same pace? Simply, by adopting Agile Methodology.

To become a truly “Agile Enterprise”, leaders need a new approach and perspective. The mindset and technical proficiency they gained through the years of experience are necessary, yet it is insufficient to develop a responsive modular software without embracing Agile Methodology

We have identified a three-stage robust agile approach to cultivate agility in an organization in which every step delivers benefits.

Stage 1: Discover: Uncovering the Agile Story

Agile is beyond a methodology. It is an iterative workflow that streamlines the software development process. Moreover, it helps the team to prioritize, manage and produce tangible functional results after each iteration by discouraging inefficient practices such as documentation, intricate email chains or excessive meetings.

To prepare your organization for the journey towards agile: 

  • Identify Challenges In The Current Approach

    Inability to pivot due to volatile market, missing delivery deadlines, ineffective task prioritization, unforeseen resource dependencies or overly ambitious development plans.

    These roadblocks may take away your crucial time to focus on customer-value initiatives leading to low employee morale, fragile product development and increasing uncertainty in customer expectations. Fortunately, agile software and methodologies have earned a reputation for addressing these very problems.

  • Acknowledge That A True Culture Shift Is Needed

    Develop a forward-thinking culture, shift leaders to own a new approach, empower employees to adapt to new ways of working. With these new and incremental change, agile adoption will likely succeed at the team level.

Stage 2: Learn: Plotting Path For The Agile Plateau

In this phase, organizations learn more about adopting agile in operations at large. There are several agile approaches such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean and Design thinking. To identify and investigate different agile methods and to choose the one that meets your business needs should satisfy the following requirements:

  • Provide visibility into running projects
  • Assure recovery and quick response to bottlenecks
  • Enable collaboration and coordination
  • Increase clarity and focus
  • Boost productivity and the predictability of deliverables
  • Enhance software quality and time to market
  • Empower employees to enhance capabilities

Once the due diligence is complete, identify a relatively self-contained group within the organization that can adopt an agile approach. Test and vet the process to create a nucleus of experience and know-how in agile methodologies that can later be extended to other parts of the enterprise.

agile-scrum methodology Cygnet

The focus is on rapid release of minimum viable products or complete scalable software with early and regular feedback from customers – rather than endless research, documentation or chains of approval.

To stay true to agile principle, you need to execute all ceremonies: daily stand-ups, iteration reviews, big-room planning and retrospectives to share progress report or any impediments.

Stage 3: Scale: Expanding Agility Across The Department

After running a pilot project with agile methodology, your team is getting a grip of understanding the purpose of using it. However, to visualize and roll up the work your teams are doing, you need:

  • A Project Management Tool To Enhance Strategic Agility

    Enterprise who seek to become 100%agile, need to create data visibility and transparency throughout the hierarchy, from the owners and board members, to top management, middle managers and team working on different projects. This starts with using the right set of tools. The use of independent, disparate team-level tools will not provide the business insight needed to make important decisions.

    JIRA tool is an agile project management tool that supports to plan,
    track and release a great software/product. From agile boards to reports, it allows you to keep an eye on progress in real-time.

A value-based analysis will provide you cross-team visibility, tactical strategy execution, that would encourage better and faster decisions.

"Learning agile resembles learning a musical instrument: No one sits down at a piano for the first time and plays Mozart. Every time your agile teams plan, they progress better. Every time they develop, they improve better. Every time they measure, evaluate and adjust the process, the momentum increases. Over time and with repetition, it enables your organization to truly scale."

Agility is not just limited to IT organization, its principles and methods can also be applied to a wide range of industries and functions.

For example, unlike the traditional sit-down restaurant, a restaurant like Chipotle follow agile method allowing customers to specify the type of meal (tacos, burrito); further giving feedback to waitstaff like black beans or pinto beans? More or less cheese? Different bread? Guacamole or no guacamole?  which makes it easy for waitstaff to pivot.

In this model, the customer has been involved throughout the food preparation process. Paying off a delicious meal that was improved due to constant collaboration between customer and waitstaff.

To measure the success of Agile initiatives, organizations need to learn to facilitate an enterprise-wide transition that requires focus, dedication, perseverance and the adoption of new ways of working.

We have helped multiple organizations to succeed in a hyper-competitive, fast-paced, ever-changing environment using 100% agile principles in delivering solutions. This makes us stand out. Contact us now on +1-609-245-0971 or drop an email at inquiry@cygnetinfotech.com.

Prakash Jha

Prakash has a decade long experience in the field of Quality and Assurance and serves as the QA Manager (DevOps) at Cynget. He has been a strong DevOps advocate who enjoys reading and experimenting with latest technology when not working.

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