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Business Agility

Agile Transformation: Benefits, Challenges & Implementation

~10 minutes read

Table Of Contents

We live in an age of constant change and we can observe that consumer behavior has changed rapidly in recent years compared to previous years. However, the change is not only experienced in consumer behavior. After all, companies also have to change the way they deal with their processes. Therefore, in addition to the digital, a massive agile transformation is becoming increasingly popular with companies today.

Agile Transformation is a process that enables organizations to understand the principles and values of the Agile Manifesto in order to improve their services and products. It is the act of progressively transforming the form or nature of the organization into a flexible, collaborative, self-organizing form that can embrace and support change.

Understand what agile transformation is

More and more companies with rigid and traditional processes in the market tend to lose ground. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, sticking to traditional processes hampers a company's progress. In times of constant change, being able to react quickly and flexibly can be crucial for a company's success. This is the greatest power of agile transformation.

Agile transformation is therefore the transition process of the entire organization towards an agile approach. Putting the consumer at the center and trying to add value to them at a sustainable pace for an indefinite period. Valuing transparency, adaptability, and continuous improvement: Agile transformation makes companies more collaborative and enables them to do more by serving the interests of their users. The aim is to breathe new life into the organization, create an environment that promotes creativity and innovation, empower employees, reduce unnecessary layers of management, and redefine leadership.

Although companies undergoing agile transformation use agile methods in their daily lives, transformation means much more. It represents a real shift in organizational culture. So Agile Transformation is a mindset that completely changes the way organizations deal with processes.

Such as changing the way an employee relates, produces, and behaves in company activities. Therefore, for a company to successfully go through this type of transformation, all employees must understand the reason for this change. Every team needs to know what agile transformation means. This is the only way to introduce a culture of self-organization and cooperation. It is therefore important that the experts continue to educate themselves and acquire specialist knowledge on this topic.

Importance of the Agile Manifesto in Agile Transformation

As already mentioned, agile transformation is much more than the introduction of agile methods. That's a huge mindset change. In order to achieve the expected results, it is essential to build on the values and principles collected in the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto is a document that summarizes the fundamentals of software development. In February 2001, the Agile Manifesto was founded by 17 professionals who already practiced agile methodologies such as Scrum, XP, DSDM, FDD, and others.

These professionals, looking for alternatives to the software development processes of the time, agreed on important aspects to improve their development processes. Everyone agreed that it is worth recording this in a document. Thus was born the document that would lead to the Agile Manifesto. The Agile Manifesto addresses the following values, which all professionals gathered there have agreed to follow and propagate:

1. Total focus on individuals and interactions rather than processes and tools

2. The focus should be on working software rather than extensive documentation.

3. The focus should be on working with the customer rather than contract negotiations.

4. Adapting to change is more important than following a plan.

In addition to these values, the Agile Manifesto contains 12 principles that have been listed to build agile software development. These principles are designed to guide the actions of agile teams and allow them to focus on what truly adds value to both the project and the client.

SAFe® Scrum Master

Why should you undertake an agile transformation?

A survey by the Standish Group shows that 31.1% of projects are canceled before they are completed. Other results show that 52.7% of the projects cost 189% of the original estimates. The introduction of agile methods tends to reduce these numbers. This is because companies that are considered agile can have more control over their projects.

Additionally, in the 16th Annual Agile Status Report, respondents to the State of Agile Report survey of 3,220 professionals were asked, among other things, why they are comfortable with agile practices. Responses included increased collaboration (69%), better alignment with business needs (54%), and a better work environment (39%). Therefore, agility today can mean making a big difference in the market.

How do organizations start their agile transformation?

The first step on the path to agile transformation is assessing the readiness of the company. Managers need to assess the risks and benefits of initiating an agile transformation. Once that decision is made, a team must be assembled to lead the transformation. Having an agile coach on the team can be a good solution to optimize time and effort when adopting an agile methodology. Just as adopting an agile workforce can help the organization move faster. For organizations beginning the process, it is helpful to remember that the journey of an agile transformation is continuous and that by its very nature, agility is constantly improving. Therefore, courses and training should be held regularly to really internalize the agile culture.

What are the benefits of agile transformation?

Agile transformation increases customer satisfaction.

One of the core values of the Agile Manifesto is the active involvement of the customer in the development of the project. Increasing customer engagement has a major impact on satisfaction. The main focus of the agile company is on creating value for the end customer. In addition, agile action enables companies to make smaller deliveries and offer customers added value right from the start of a project.

Agile transformation increases collaboration and productivity.

Collaboration is one of the achievements of companies undergoing agile transformation. Both collaborations between teams and collaboration with customers bring growth. Because it emphasizes one of the main principles of the Agile Manifesto that individuals and interactions should be more important than processes and tools. Agile collaboration also gives individuals and teams more freedom to work independently. Team members are encouraged to organize themselves and find their own solutions and ways of working. This leads to high motivation and participation. It also reduces bureaucracy and pushes the team to produce more.

Agile transformation provides the ability to deal with changing priorities.

Agility teaches people to embrace change and prioritize. High responsiveness to change cannot prevent companies from becoming stronger, even in times of crisis. In addition, requirements and needs can change. In order to meet the changing demands, it is crucial that companies react quickly and are ready to act differently today. Agile organizations often work with continuous planning, such as sprint planning, during project development. The aim is to learn quickly in order to create space for new decisions. However, agile teams are comparatively more flexible. They tend to cope well with challenging scenarios and unplanned changes such as a pandemic.

Agile transformation accelerates product delivery.

The goal of the agile mindset is to always work in short cycles to deliver the working product. Additionally, mechanisms such as daily stand-ups and retrospectives are employed to identify gaps and eliminate them as they arise. As a result, product delivery is accelerated and increased.

Agile transformation provides predictability in delivery.

Agile transformation offers better predictability of deliveries with tools like the product backlog managed by the product owner, sprint planning, and journals. Anything developed in a time window is predefined, and any course change should be resolved within that time horizon.

Agile transformation reduces risks.

Organizations that embark on Agile Transformation gain agility by adding or changing requirements at each iteration throughout the project lifecycle. This allows the organization to respond to risks in less time.

Agile transformation increases discipline in the company.

Agile actions enable close monitoring of project progress and each individual team member. This reduces bugs and improvements. It encourages continuous testing for product evaluation. But such actions only make sense if the team lives up to agile values. Commitment is meaningless without respect, focus, courage, and openness.

What are the challenges of agile transformation?

Naturally, as organizations embrace agile transformation and integrate agile practices, techniques, and tools into their operational processes, they encounter a number of obstacles. Transformation challenges can include:

Inconsistent processes and practices between teams

When agile transformation does not happen linearly across the organization, teams in different parts of the organization apply agile principles to varying degrees and intensity. This can result in an apparent inconsistency of processes and practices across teams or low value in agile practices.

Organizational culture that is at odds with agile values

The agile transformation requires a change in the way management works. Adopting agile transformation leads to significant cultural shifts, such as B. increasing customer orientation, cooperation, and teamwork. When these agile values are not aligned with corporate culture, transformation encounters obstacles.

Resistance to change

This resistance can be shown by both general employees and management. People will not be willing to change unless they are offered good reasons to change. In particular, the lack of management support for change is one of the most serious problems in agile transformation.

The habits and beliefs of an organization are ingrained in the minds of the people who are part of it. Changing mindsets is difficult and can be very challenging. Often people who are less open to change immediately think that it doesn't work, especially when it comes to such a serious change as an agile transformation. This mindset is more likely to change when they understand agile values and principles.

Lack of skills/experience with agile methodologies

One of the most important points of successful companies when implementing agile transformation is confidence in their abilities. Lack of skills and experience with methods can affect the smooth functioning of the team. Many communication issues typically arise due to a lack of clarity and alignment between members involved in agile practice. While agile transformation can bring many benefits to organizations, if executed poorly, it can have undesirable consequences for the organization. Therefore, professionals need to be trained to be ready for agile transformation.

Investment needs

Employees must be ready for transformation, both mentally and in a work environment. They must receive training and coaching to be intellectually ready for a transformation. All of this requires a certain budget.

Integrate agility

Difficulties increase when teams need to collaborate with other teams as part of a large organization. The reason for these difficulties can be that they are not on the same team level, or there can be many different reasons. The fact is that if you start in small pieces, it will be easier for the transformation. But even here, some difficulties may arise when it will be necessary to contact different teams.


Agile transformation should have the freedom to transform the entire organization. Having an organizational culture that strengthens decision-making and gives employees the trust that is so important will automatically create an environment of high participation and motivation. Executing an agile transformation is a highly complex activity. Because of this, the best path to transformation is to embrace and apply the fundamental mindset of agility. That means short iterations, outcome metrics, and continuous improvement.


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