Why is Agile Important in Digital Transformation?

People working around a meeting table

The Agile approach to delivering value to customers has been around for a while and has changed how software and other technologies are conceptualised, created, and released. But now, many organisations are using Agile for a different purpose – to drive their digital transformation. 

So, why is Agile important in digital transformation? When a company wants to change their processes to have technology at its core, Agile can provide an excellent framework for getting rapid feedback and delivering value faster (delivering early and often, rather than a big bang release) through the use of iterations.

Read on to learn more about using Agile for digital transformation. 

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Why Agile is Important in Digital Transformation

Agile provides a framework for companies that want to encourage digital transformation and create a cultural shift, bringing digital processes and technologies to the fore. These digital processes and new technologies allow companies to deliver more value to their clients faster, and with more transparency.

Enables Rapid Customer Feedback based on Iteration

The Agile framework encourages companies to work in smaller iterations, adapting to regular customer feedback. This provides a much more effective customer experience and delivers value faster (early and often).

Stronger Communication

An Agile team understands the necessity for strong communication and understands the importance of honest and open feedback. Some argue that this is the most important part of digital transformation. 

Consistent Sprint Lengths

By keeping Sprint (iteration) lengths consistent, the organisation can predict how much can be delivered in a particular time frame and the teams doing the work have a better idea of how much can be achieved in each Sprint.

Better Risk Management

By encouraging early identification and confrontation of risks, Agile can help to avoid problems being discovered too late to take corrective action.  This enables the plan to be adapted if necessary and helps to reduce the risk of dramatic failure.

Allows for Experimentation

Creating solutions that delight customers requires a degree of experimentation. Scrum enables the team to get rapid feedback and quickly zoom in on a solution that works well for customers and for the business. There must be a willingness to try, fail, quickly learn from mistakes, and adapt. Not only does this work to deliver value, but also encourages creativity within the team, leading to more innovation and flexibility. 

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What are the Challenges of Digital Transformation?

Simply getting started with Agile and beginning the digital transformation journey is, arguably, one of the strongest challenges that businesses face. Not only do business leaders need to convince stakeholders and investors of this new approach, but must also swiftly break from traditional practices, whilst also installing new, unfamiliar practices across the business. As such, the team may be stuck in a pre-preparation stage for some time. 

Simply learning the language and practices of Agile (such as Sprints) may cause confusion for some and go against the grain of your team’s experience. For example, dividing a huge project into smaller chunks may seem counterintuitive and wasteful for some, whereas the benefits to be gained by starting to deliver value faster and at a higher quality are well established

Another challenge of digital transformation is staffing your Agile teams. Whether a business hires internally or externally, team members need support to develop an Agile mindset and avoid being phased by constant revision, feedback, and transparency.

Support for Your Agile Transformation from ScrumCenter

At ScrumCenter, we have in-depth experience in leading some of the largest and most successful Agile transformations in Europe. Every client is different, and it is our mission to help you develop your own Agile capability. We offer Agile Transformation Consulting, training and coaching to support your needs.

FAQs

What is Agile?

Agile is a collaborative approach for developing solutions that helps teams to deliver value faster. It takes an iterative approach, working in small increments, rather than one large launch. Through regular feedback,  the team has the opportunity to respond and adapt to necessary changes quickly. 

The Agile approach is a way of working that demonstrates a commitment to tight feedback cycles and continuous improvement, backed by the core elements of open communication, collaboration, adaptation, and trust. 

What is Digital Transformation?

Digital transformation is the process of a business changing its company culture, business practices, and customer experiences using digital technologies. Such processes help businesses to meet changing business, societal, and market requirements and move into the digital age.

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Scaling Agile Meetup

We’ve moved our Scaling Agile Lean Coffee to the meetup.com platform. You can join the group here:

https://www.meetup.com/scaling-agile-meetup/

The upcoming events will be published in the group. At the time of writing, the next event is 12th May at 18:00 BST, 19:00 CEST. There is always a lively discussion so why not bring your burning topic on agile transformation or scaling agile to the group? It’s free to join.