A Transformation Approach for Scaling and Sustaining Agility at an Enterprise Level: A Culture-Led Agile Transformation Approach

A Transformation Approach for Scaling and Sustaining Agility at an Enterprise Level: A Culture-Led Agile Transformation Approach

Ahmed Sidky (ICAgile, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1913-3.ch009
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Abstract

The sustainability of agile transformations is deeply linked to how the organization “transforms” to agile. Sustainable, effective agile transformations affect all the elements of culture such as, leadership style, leadership values, work structures, reward systems, processes, and of course the work habits of people. How to affect that culture shift is the key question we will present in this chapter. The author will present two different common transformation approaches (organizational-led and process-led) and then describe a hybrid version called culture-led transformation that is designed to change critical organizational and personal habits to improve and sustain organizational agility.
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2. Organizational Agility

We define Organizational Agility as a culture (a) based on the values and principles of Agile, (b) supported by the organizational ecosystem (which we define as an organization’s leadership, strategy, structure, processes and people) and (c) manifested through personal and organizational habits (how work really gets done in the organization).

The first part of this definition is the notion of a culture based on the values and principles of Agile. When the word Agile is mentioned, many people immediately think of Scrum, eXtreme Programming or some other Agile methodology in the IT space. Agile, itself, is not a process, framework or any particular methodology; it is a mindset, a culture, a way of thinking. This mindset is all about learning and discovery. Agile is about a culture of continuous learning. The idea, therefore, is to frame Agile as the mindset, values and principles behind various methodologies, rather than as the practices associated with any methodology.

Understanding Agile as a mindset is foundational to discussing the transformational effort needed to achieve organizational agility. When organizations view Agile as just another process (even if it is viewed as an efficient process that enables a team to embrace change) then the transformation journey is simply about adopting a new process. But when agile is correctly viewed as a set of cultural habits, then the agile transformation now entails the change of the entire organizational culture.

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