Agile transformations are essential in changing your organization into a true innovative organization. An Agile organization is not just about working in an Agile way or culture, although these elements are essential. Agile Transformation is about changing your processes, quality and improving your business results.

Most enterprises are stuck in old ways of operating, and that can negatively affect a company’s speed and adaptability to change. To be competitive in the digital age, businesses need to achieve agility at scale.

Many of the world’s biggest companies struggle to be nimble, efficient, and data-driven, which then makes them less productive than they should be. It’s not just their size that holds them back; much of the problem is created by a traditional business model that’s been created for scale and standardization, rather than for agility and innovation.

While many organizations have teams working in an agile way, very few businesses have been able to implement this model across their entire enterprise. As companies move from implementing agile on individual projects to portfolios and, ultimately, to an entire business, more and more core processes need to be adapted—a significant operational challenge in itself.

Large-scale agile transformation isn’t just about technology. It’s about a new way of thinking. It’s more collaborative, more open, more creative, and much more efficient than other business models. And it’s something that can be implemented across a company, not just in one or two departments.

Companies can achieve agile transformation at three levels: the project level, which is relatively easy to accomplish; the portfolio level, which is more complex; and the organization level, which requires a complete rethinking of a company’s operating model. Moving effectively from the first level to the last can be difficult for a large organization, but companies that move in progressive steps can succeed.

Ultimately, creating a more agile way of working takes about two to three years to complete, but meaningful results can be achieved in as little as six months depending on an organization’s starting point and level of internal support.


Lean Agile Change

Adopting agile methodologies in product and service development is a fundamental change in organizations and will affect how employees create, collaborate and communicate. Thus, agile change is not yet another c-level mandated reorganization of departments, heads and roles. It is a new way of thinking that needs to be introduced to and lived and adjusted by all stakeholders involved in developing a service or a product. And it has to be preceded by thorough understanding of the lean approach, as agile methodologies are mainly an implementation of that approach for the world of digital product and service development.

We at The CPI Group think of agile change (especially in large, traditional organizations) as a journey with a restricted “safe corridor”. Thus our approach is a “deep and narrow” spike of change that will first explore the corridor and its surrounding and then broaden the change though the whole organization. Our partners who have lived and worked in both traditional and transformed organizations and have traveled between them on the quest for agile change will be glad to support you. The journey begins with a “lean inception” that will set and synchronize our navigation tools and will continue through “minimum viable changes” and “disruptive injections” while carefully managing the interfaces to the yet untraversed parts of your organization.

All activities focusing on added value (yes that is still the maxim to act on, even in a change management), the Lean Agile Change aims to sustainably anchor the core of lean and agile thinking into your organization while customizing the practices to your needs and benefits.

Agile at Scale

The first advice you will hear from us on scaled agile is: Don’t!

But of course we know that sometimes circumstances will make it inevitable. In that case our advice will be: Let us learn to walk first, before we try to run. Scaling agile projects and teams starts with deeply understanding and practicing lean and agile delivery in a smaller context. Once the core value have been adapted and the practices customized successfully within the organization, agile scaling of projects and products can be tackled and the new technical and organizational challenges (governance, collaboration, system coherency, complex delivery) can be mastered.

The CPI Group is not part of the “method wars” and is not promoting a specific framework or methodology (SAFe, DAD, LeSS etc.) for scaling agile work, but will rather work together with you on choosing the one that fits your needs and benefits or even to create your own.