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    The 6 Building Blocks for Agile Transformation

     

    Since its introduction in 2001, agile has passed from a trend to a way of life for many software development and consultancy companies. According to a 2015 survey by Hewlett-Packard, two-thirds of IT professionals report that their organization is either fully agile or leaning toward agile.

    Moving to agile will require changes in all three parts of your workflow: people, processes and tools. If you're interested in enacting an agile transformation within your own organization, follow the six building blocks below.
     

    1. Prepare for Unexpected Changes or Roadblocks

    Becoming an agile workplace is rarely as simple as you read about in the glossy promotional materials. Agile requires a reorientation of your entire mindset and workflow. Adjusting to new processes and technologies is a long-term initiative that will take months or years to fully take hold.
     

    2. Deliver Meaningful Value Through Short Cycles

    In contrast to the traditional waterfall model, agile emphasizes short, iterative bursts of development. This approach has the benefit of delivering features as soon as they're developed, focusing only on the most important issues at hand, and receiving feedback earlier in the process.
     

    3. Support the Culture Change Needed to Maximize Agile Transformation

    Being agile isn't something that you achieve on a whim or that's finished overnight. The agile movement entails committing yourself to changing how everyone in your organization does their job, so you'll need full buy-in from key stakeholders to support this culture change.
     

    4. Understand How Agile Methodology Breaks From Traditional Methods of Workflow

    To migrate to an agile methodology, you first have to understand what it is you're migrating from. Too many organizations defend their traditional development processes by saying it's "what's always been done" without reflecting on why things are done that way and whether there are better approaches out there.
     

    5. Reorganize Workflow Structure to Enhance Information Flow and Eliminate Data Silos

    By building artificial barriers and hampering collaboration, data silos are the enemy of agile. Breaking down these silos will make your business more flexible, your data more available and your employees more informed. Cross-functional teams, one of the hallmarks of the agile methodology, are an excellent way to eliminate silos.
     

    6. Establish a Self-Sufficient Agile Culture Within an Organization

    Self-organizing teams are another fundamental concept in agile, allowing team members to decide for themselves how to complete their work rather than taking direction. The end goal of your move to agile should be a fully self-sufficient workforce with well-defined processes that can quickly respond to changes.

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