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Agile Transformation: Team and Environment Changes to Unlock Powerful Results (Part 2)

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Agile Transformation: Team and Environment Changes to Unlock Powerful Results (Part 2)

Adjusting to an Agile transformtion becomes more effective and provides more results when collaboration and process optimization are prioritized.

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This is the second of two parts. In the first part, I reviewed the changes necessary in how we manage to able agile transformation across the organization. In this part, I discuss the changes we need to make to enable team success.

Regardless of the industry, this method provides a set of guiding principles and tools to change organizational performance in a rapid, real and durable way. From aligning to the organization and customer’s objectives, to delivering products faster with higher quality, here’s some of what I’ve learned to transform teams and improve what they deliver every day.

Organization Development

To enable teams to form, function and thrive, our teams need new techniques and tools to deliver products and software. These changes make teams more effective and better able to make the changes the business environment requires. Changes in how we work can account for 60% of the value that comes from agile transformation.

The changes that we help our teams make are critical for another reason: it helps our team realize our commitment and increases buy-in to the change. They make the change tangible to our teams. Most importantly, it enables the organization to unlock the value that our teams hold.

Optimize the Development Process

Closely aligned to DevOps implementation, migration to an agile development process enables teams to optimize the productivity of co-located developers and users, sustainable teams and new technology. When implementing new development processes, studies indicate that productivity increases and defects decrease. It's also with this lever that we implement process change to optimize the scope and quantity and features developed and documentation to reduce the amount of unused software and documentation developed by teams.

If development teams are geographically dispersed, new capabilities are developed to make those teams as effective as possible. That may include communication tools, time-zone shifting and travel among teams to allow them to work together more effectively.

IMPACT: 3x improvement in lines of code delivered, 5% decrease in defects delivered.

Automate Testing Wherever There’s an Established Process or Software

Testing can account for as much as 40% of the cost of a project. Not only is it costly, but it is time-consuming, injecting delays, interrupting flow, and causing business disruption. Automation of this testing improves test quality, reduces labor costs and drives down cycle time.

IMPACT: Test automation reduces testing cost and defect rates by almost 50% in many cases.

Improve the Tools That Delivery Teams Use Every Day

To optimize team performance, our teams need to be equipped with a set of modern tooling to enable several capabilities: configuration management, automated deployment, automated testing and lifecycle management. The impact of these changes is small when assessed as a reduction in the total development lifecycle, but very high when we evaluate the capability to deploy software more often (including business hours in many cases) with higher quality.

IMPACT: 43% of automated deployment users deploy daily, a significant increase over manual operations.

Change Specific Behaviors to Improve Transparency & Engagement

The key to strong collaboration is for parties to trust each other while business capabilities are under development. This includes users, representatives of the business, development teams and IT Operations staff. This transparency is critical if teams are to build and deploy assuming the positive intent of one another. The assumption of positive intent decreases friction and improves collaboration. One of the fastest ways to build transparency is to encourage teams to self-report quickly and honestly when things aren’t going to expectations. When the leaders don’t overreact and join in the struggle to resolve issues, barriers to trust begin to fall.

IMPACT: Transparency and engagement improvements have the greatest impact on estimation and collaboration (+60% perception improvement in each).

Improve Estimation Capability

Estimates for development are routinely poor. Some studies suggest that development estimates are generally accurate no more than 25% of the time. There are a variety of reasons for this: missed scope, requirement changes, defects, and delays. Agile provides some level of improvement in estimate quality, but more importantly, it provides improvement on two fronts. Transparency into the estimates to help teams make decisions about what functionality requires the most effort to build. This transparency allows teams to make conscious decisions about expending the effort to build functionality that may have marginal value. It also improves predictability once the build process starts. Because there is increase transparency, teams are better able to predict when functionality will be delivered and when MVP is reached. This improvement increases the planning horizon and reduces surprises in the delivery process.

IMPACT: Negligible for estimation, but very positive for transparency in estimates and prediction for delivery. I recommend this be combined with heuristic estimation practices to make a step-change difference in estimation accuracy and outcomes.

What Benefit Should You Expect?

Agile transformation is just like any change of significance: when successful, it can pave the way for a very bright future. When it goes bad, it can be difficult to recover from.

Agile transformation can have a tremendous impact — 50-60% cycle reduction, 90% increase in delivered quality and much more predictable delivery. It can only deliver those outcomes if the change is appropriately designed and managed.

Migration to agile is equivalent to changing the engine of IT development while the car is running. It's possible, but much more effective when someone is alongside to provide expertise, guidance and help interpret interim results.

See how three solutions work together to help your teams have the tools they need to deliver quality software quickly. Brought to you in partnership with CA Technologies

Topics:
agile adoption ,agile approach ,agile development ,agile initiatives ,agile lean ,agile projects ,agile transformation

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