Big Agile, Big Challenges

Kelsey van Haaster

Several frameworks offer a pathway to large-scale agile, but a step-by-step approach, while appealing, can not serve as a substitute for the meaningful cultural change that must take place. Most important to success: a shared vision and clarity of purpose, transparency and patience.

Agile and Lean approaches are currently of great interest to organizations working with digital technology, and many are asking how they can use Agility to leverage the perceived benefits of digital disruption. Many organizations are also learning that the implications of adopting Agility are far broader than just replicating the approaches and activities that have been successful for individual teams.

Adopting Agility at an enterprise level implies a significant cultural and organizational change. This kind of change impacts roles and responsibilities, corporate governance mechanisms, reporting mechanisms, approaches to corporate and financial planning, marketing, sales forecasting and public relations, as well as demanding new and different conversations with stakeholders, shareholders and the user community.

More than a decade of research into Agility has resulted in a substantial body of literature highlighting these challenges as well as the practical difficulties of scaling Agile, which include managing variability among team processes, lifecycles and approaches, to developing and …

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