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Undergoing an Agile transformation: all you need to know

Alicia Schneider 9 min read
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What started as an ideology for developing quality software efficiently has evolved into a way of thinking about business as a whole. By embracing Agile practices, organizations small and large can deliver more successful products and services faster than ever before. However, doing so requires a large-scale shift, otherwise known as an Agile transformation.

This guide will examine the principles that drive Agile transformations, its benefits, how to measure if it’s being successfully used in your team, and how platforms like monday dev help you implement it. 

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What is Agile transformation?

monday dev sprint management board

In simple terms, Agile transformation describes changes aimed at adopting Agile values and principles. The Agile methodology is an approach to project management that emphasizes iterative development through small, incremental releases. Instead of waiting to release a project in its entirety, Agile projects focus on releasing small deliverables and making constant improvements.

A successful Agile transformation entails overhauling most systems and processes and discarding others that don’t fit an Agile framework. It requires embracing Agile values and principles across all teams, departments, and especially executive leadership. Additionally, Agile teams need to be able to respond to new information quickly and efficiently.

This kind of transformation isn’t marginal, quick, or easy. A lot of time and dedication goes into creating a new environment that’s reactive, flexible, and collaborative.

Agile adoption vs. Agile transformation

While they may sound similar, Agile adoption and transformation aren’t the same things. Agile adoption is the process of adopting Agile principles and practices for a specific project or team. With Agile adoption, teams may start adopting methods like Scrum, Kanban, or sprints to improve project management.

On the other hand, Agile transformation is all-encompassing. It involves a broader organizational change that affects all parts of an organization. With Agile transformation, the idea is to make an entire company more Agile, not only one team or project. This involves changes to company culture, processes, and even structure to allow for better agility organization-wide.

What are the benefits of transforming an organization to Agile?

While the process of transforming an organization to become Agile can be long and challenging, there are many benefits. There are certainly benefits to other forms of project management as well, like Waterfall or Lean, but there’s a reason why, according to the 17th annual State of Agile report, 71% of companies use Agile in their software development lifecycle. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of Agile transformation.

  • Quicker delivery: With work broken down into smaller chunks, tasks can be better prioritized, enabling quicker responses to market changes and feedback
  • Better collaboration: Agile fosters a culture of collaboration and transparency, encouraging teams to communicate better and work together
  • More adaptability: As Agile allows organizations to quickly respond to trends, customer requests, or even internal changes, they’re more adaptable overall
  • Increased efficiency: By focusing on delivering high-value features and functionality incrementally, Agile allows teams to work more efficiently by reducing wasted time and resources
  • Higher quality results: Agile’s focus on customer feedback and periodic deliveries results in a higher-quality product that’s less likely to fail
  • Improved cost management: As projects are delivered in sprints or iterations, it’s easier to regularly refine a budget to adjust to project changes, helping teams waste less

What are important factors for a successful Agile transformation?

Many organizations still operate under traditional structures that are incompatible with Agile. The way the businesses structure management and departmental hierarchies and how they deliver their products and services must shift for true Agile transformation. In order to do this, there are some essential factors to consider.

  • Visionary leadership: Strong leaders with a concrete vision are crucial to championing Agile transformation and aligning organization goals towards Agile principles
  • Cultural shift: Moving the cultural needle can be tricky as it requires continuous coaching, education, and support, but studies show that a strong Agile culture can increase performance by 277%!
  • Cross-functional collaboration: Encourage collaboration between different functions or departments to allow teams to work together more efficiently and deliver value faster
  • Iterative approach: While some organizations may be used to delivering a final product, shifting to delivering functionality in multiple iterations represents a big shift but is essential to successful Agile transformation
  • Feedback loops: Make sure regular feedback is encouraged and worked into the development process to identify areas for improvement and make project or workflow adjustments

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Transform from Waterfall to Agile with these 6 steps

The waterfall method is a traditional sequential way to manage projects, where projects flow downwards through specific phases, one leading into the other upon each stage’s completion. While the waterfall method may work for some teams, it doesn’t allow for as much feedback implementation or iterative planning as each stage needs to be completed before another can begin.

Agile presents a more flexible option, but transitioning away from waterfall takes some careful planning and an Agile transformation strategy. Here are some of the steps you’ll need to consider:

  1. Adopt Agile incrementally: Implement Agile over time instead of all at once to make the transition smoother and allow for enough time to get used to each shift
  2. Create a transition plan: Build an Agile transformation roadmap to move away from waterfall, enabling a seamless move from one project management form to another in different project stages
  3. Get your team on board: Make sure each team member understands their roles in Agile practices with training, coaching, and Agile education
  4. Make collaboration simple: Ensure everyone knows how they’ll be working together and what tasks they’re responsible for in an Agile framework
  5. Implement first Agile practices: Start with one sprint or iteration for your development team so they can get the hang of Agile principles and know what’s expected of them
  6. Make improvements and scale: Based on the first sprint, see if your team needs further training and begin scaling to add new Agile methodologies and more sprints

How can you measure if the Agile transformation was successful?

When asked how organizations who went through Agile transformation measured their success, there were a few different answers. According to the State of Agile report, 59% of respondents measured success through customer satisfaction, 48% through on-time delivery, and 41% each for productivity and organizational morale.

There are several key indicators to look at that can measure whether Agile transformation has been successful in an organization. A few factors management should look out for include:

  • Delivery speed
  • Quality improvements
  • Adaptability
  • Employee engagement

Essentially, Agile transformations should add value to organizations. When assessing the success of these transformations, consider whether more value has been built in your development process, whether it’s features that got to market at a quicker pace or a team that can respond to changes and feedback quicker and more effectively. Ultimately, a transformation’s success will be dictated by positive organizational and cultural shifts as well as increased ROI.

Go Agile with monday dev during and after the transformation

Whether it’s a small team adopting Agile or an organization beginning its transformation, embracing a Work OS that supports Agile processes and practices is essential. is built — and continuously refined — with agility and flexibility at top of mind.

As a part of its Work OS, monday dev is a platform tailored to developers’ needs. Full of features and functionalities that help developers bring products to life, monday dev is instrumental in the process of transforming your team or organization to the Agile methodology. Let’s take a closer look at some monday dev features that can be helpful to Agile transformation and projects.

Advanced automated reporting

agile reporting burndown chart

monday dev gives you access to automated reports so that you can easily track things like budget, team workload, project progress, burndown charts, and more. These insights are especially handy when conducting sprint retrospectives and you need accurate insights into what could be improved to inform better business-wide decision-making.

Simple sprint planning

monday dev sprint dashboard

Easily manage daily standups, retrospectives, product lifecycles, backlogs, and more. All teams can work collaboratively on each sprint with customizable boards and tools to assign responsibilities, communicate, set deadlines, and automate manual tasks like reminders.

Hundreds of integrations

monday dev agile integrations

With over 200 integrations, teams can incorporate their existing tools and data into monday dev, making it the perfect foundation to launch an iterative Agile transformation. monday dev has integrations with popular development tools like Figma, GitHub, GitLab, and others, allowing you to integrate your existing tools without disrupting your workflow.

Agile workflow templates

monday dev Sprint retrospective

Fast access to sprint planning, sprint retrospective, and feature request templates are the foundational systems for Agile workflows. With monday dev, you can fastrack your Agile implementation with premade templates that your team can tweak to their liking.

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Agile Transformation: Wrapping up

Going Agile is something that’s going to transform your organization, but it won’t happen overnight. With so many details to keep track of, from transitioning to Agile practices, establishing ongoing training, and tracking tasks and communications, keeping everything organized and streamlined is the key to Agile transformation success. With a platform like monday dev, where everything is kept accessible in one place, teams can focus their effort on Agile implementation without worrying about important tasks getting overlooked.

Alicia is a digital marketing and tech freelance writer with a passion for turning complex jargon into engaging content that everyone can understand.
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