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There are great benefits to being an agile organisation – from enhanced performance to company culture (If you are not sure what benefits we are talking about, take a look at Why you should become Agile). No wonder, therefore, that many companies view going agile as the ultimate transformation they have to undergo on the way to success.
So, you have set off on a road towards true agility, but how do you know when you have reached your destination? In this article, we share our top criteria to assess whether you are truly Agile or not yet. In order to determine if you have fully adopted the Agile methodology, ask yourself these six simple questions:
In an agile organisation, the right people work in the right roles and on the right projects. And tempting as it may be to combine these roles, it is not the done thing in agile companies as it may hinder performance and ultimately decrease the level of agility. Each role has a unique set of functions and responsibilities and it is important for an agile organisation to have all of them. For example, make sure you have a Product owner who will facilitate communication between the business owner, the customer, development teams, business analysts, etc. This is the go-to person for all the questions and requirements connected with the project.
Working in a collaborative environment is vital for continuous improvement. Creating and supporting such an environment helps an organisation build trust, empower teams and increase productivity manifold. Now, when everything changes so quickly, it is important for teams to exchange information and knowledge and be able to collaboratively produce product increments in short and sweet iterations.
Things do not always go as planned, and the way your company responds to a crisis is one of the main indicators of its agility level. When you fail to miss a deadline, do you still stick to the Agile methodology or do you switch to other methods instead? Answering this simple question will help you see how far you have gone in your agile transformation.
The ultimate goal of an agile company is keeping the customer happy, and customer satisfaction is the centre of any conversation. Creating value for both your customer and the company itself is the main principle of the Agile methodology, therefore all the stakeholders are constantly involved in the process. If you have regular discussions with the stakeholders, actively consider your customer’s needs and adapt to any new requirements – you are probably on the right track.
Being self-organizing means that teams plan and estimate their work themselves, then perform and assess it and make the necessary corrections. The process is facilitated by managers through applicable frameworks, regular planning and status meetings, etc, but the most important part is that every team member is self-motivated and working towards a common goal.
Ironically, a truly agile company will never say they are agile, as they constantly look for better ways to do things and track progress. In agile organisations, team members make efforts to regularly measure their progress and share the results with the rest of the team. This is done in regular retrospective meetings where issues are identified and tackled.
Six questions are obviously not enough, but they are a good start. If you need help determining whether your organization is agile or roadmapping you way to agility, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance from our expert consultants.
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Andrei Pisklenov _Actonic_
Head of Development
3 accepted answers