The Agile Journey: Following Agile to Being Agile

26 May 2015
by Yugal Joshi


Executive Summary

Gone are the days when enterprises could take their own sweet time to bring products and services to the market. In today’s world, they have to respond quickly to market changes driven by changing customer expectations, increasing competitive pressure, and rapid technology disruption. Digital-native companies that quickly and consistently deliver products that are relevant and adaptable to customers’ requirements are rising to prominence. This has contributed to the urgency for enterprises to broaden their scope of Agile adoption.

Agile, an overused yet less understood buzzword, defines a set of frameworks that enable enterprises to adopt a renewed mindset to software development and deployment. However, an enterprise-wide, integrated, and seamless Agile implementation requires organizations to take measured and purposeful steps. It also requires a cultural change to imbibe a new collaborative mindset. Everest Group’s research suggests that successful organizations adopt Agile as a journey and not as a destination, by continually evolving their approach.

 scaling agile enterprises

However, our experience in assisting enterprises in scaling Agile adoption also highlights that they often overcomplicate this process. Enterprises attempt to force-fit Agile into traditional models and create a complex maze of structures, processes, and an unrealistic business case without measuring tangible outcomes. This often results in enterprises living in the illusion of Agile rather than being Agile.

On the other hand, enterprises often try to scale up Agile adoption too quickly and blow things out of proportion. Consequently, Agile adoption falls short of expectations, leaving enterprises bereft of results typically expected from mature Agile adoption.

There are certain structural guidelines and practices that are recommended to scale up Agile across the enterprise. This research highlights these practices while describing the pitfalls of piecemeal Agile adoption. It further draws attention to the implications of overcomplicating Agile transformation and the required remediation. Some major aspects covered are:

  • Pitfalls of piecemeal Agile adoption
  • Scaling Agile across the enterprise
  • Implications of overcomplicating Agile
  • Adopting scaled and optimal Agile

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