The How-to-Eat-an-Elephant Approach to Building an Agile Culture

HowToEatAnElephant_Blog-1A recent article in CIO magazine argues that organizational resistance is a major obstacle to effective deployment of Agile methodologies. According to the piece, large enterprises often make the mistake of implementing Agile as a top-down C-level edict designed to transform the entire organization. The typical result is uncertainty, anxiety and resistance among the ranks, followed by disappointing results.

The prospect of creating an Agile environment can be particularly daunting for organizations hampered by obsolete systems, isolated technology towers and inefficient and complex processes. In many cases, Agile principles such as responsiveness, speed and focus on business requirements simply aren’t an option.

For businesses struggling with the burden of legacy operations, a more effective approach is to take a step-by-step approach to transforming the development culture. Rather than a top-down mandate to go Agile, a focused initiative that identifies a potential value stream within a business can be a test case that yields quantifiable results and provides a roadmap for expansion.

The idea of “less is more” is key to Agile product development. As such, starting small makes sense.

For a detailed look at how traditional businesses can benefit from the Agile model, read this article in Future of Sourcing by my colleague Jaime Palacios.