How to Switch to Agile

Learn how organizations should switch to Agile step by step.

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Steps to switch to Agile

Implementing Agile in an organization isn’t an easy feat. Its difficulty is often underestimated. The decision to switch to Agile is often met with skepticism or opposition in the workplace. Sometimes, Agile conflicts with the prevailing culture in an organization. Sometimes it’s better to implement Agile in an agile way, or bit by bit:

  • Set the stakeholders and objectives: It isn’t always clear why an organization would choose Agile. It’s then crucial to determine how Agile can be a success.
  • Outline a method: Create a rough sketch of the method for the first Agile project. Start with an approach like Scrum or Smart. Adjust gradually where needed.
  • Select a unit of work: Identify the unit of work that best fits the first project.
  • Choose a promising pilot: Always choose a promising project as the first Agile project. Don’t choose a project that has been restarted three times or that’s politically sensitive. Success in a first project is necessary to convince the skeptics.
  • Coach the project: Find an experienced Agile coach for this project. A coach with proven experience, not someone who just has a certificate.
  • Compose the team: Ask people to be part of the team who already have experience with Agile or are open to try something new.
  • Train the team: Introduce the method chosen to the whole team, including customers and users. Explain very clearly what’s expected of everyone.
  • Organize a kickoff: Organize the kick-off for the project, preferably following the training.
  • Improve by measuring: Start by measuring productivity as soon as the project starts. Having historical figures early on in the project is one of the biggest advantages of Agile. Show what has been achieved and what this means for the duration of the project to everyone involved as soon as possible.
  • Positive Energy: Let the positive energy of the first Agile project spread through the organization. Contagious energy is the main method by which Agile spreads. Ventilate the achievements, and make them visible within the organization. That success is contagious. Soon, other projects and teams will take on elements of the first Agile project.

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