A great methodology to deliver and develop better software is by incorporating agile practices. While scaling agile in enterprise environments, one needs to understand the differences between scope and change control, and how to properly apply a given agile framework to bring in change without putting the overall project at risk. This involves collaborative agreements, iteration-based change control, transparency and effective stakeholder communication.
“The 11th annual State of Agile™ survey found that enterprise agility is increasing throughout organizations and across almost all industries at an accelerated rate. For the first time, half of the survey respondents came from outside North America. While the largest number (23%) of respondents still worked for software companies, the number from non-software companies grew significantly in 2016. Respondents from very large organizations, employing more than 20,000 people, also increased.”
Agile Manifesto Values and Principles
Agile manifesto values ensure that the response to change is a fundamental driver for agile projects. Even though there are changes in the requirement frequently, the projects must be ready if there are any changes in the plan. Hence, the agile principle is to welcome change in requirements even in the later stages of development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage.
Challenges to Scaling Agile in Enterprise Organizations
There are many benefits of agile development – better change management, increased productivity, saving time and improved software quality. But when the company size is too large, there are also a few challenges that one can meet while developing agile
Change resistance: One of the biggest challenges in big companies is to be open to change. When the employees are so familiar and comfortable with certain processes and wireframes, it gets challenging to introduce change. For example, people have been working with legacy systems since ages and hence, changing over to agile will involve skepticism. So, while introducing the agile methodology, it is necessary to focus on its advantages such as rapid and frequent delivery unlike legacy systems.
Pre-existing Rigid/Waterfall Framework: Agile is more flexible and responsive to change than those used in Waterfall or V Model. Although, it will take time, effort and resources while changing the entire framework for an organization. Changes of this magnitude are risky in nature, and hence the benefits have to be clearly communicated to get support from the C-suite. The mindset of the executive level will also need to be transformed.
Handling Agile Teams: Coordination is a huge challenge even amongst agile teams while trying to scale development and delivery. In a big company, the team might have multiple goals and coordinating could be an issue. Another scenario is coordinating with non-agile teams such as teams that are working on waterfall methodologies. Also, while changing to the agile methodology, one needs to train and coach employees which might cause a delay in delivering agile frameworks.
Advantages of Agile Software
Tips for Change Management in Agile
Scaling enterprises with agile is possible by incorporating key success factors like providing support for executives, shift in delivery, consistent processes, proper training and coaching. By focussing on these key areas implementing agile or scaling agile won’t be a difficult task. Agile is a journey that needs long-term commitment and an open mindset of team members and rest assured, you will notice the benefits that agile methodologies bring to your organization.