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5 ways to implement Agile successfully

By ILX Team | 1 September 2021

If you have already committed to making the transition to Agile practices, then you likely already know the endless benefits of this methodology. Agile boasts better product quality, a reduction in risks, and continuous improvement. This proactive project management approach meets the demands of the modern workplace with flexibility and transparency.

However, in order to maximise the benefits of Agile, effective implementation is crucial. Controlling transformative change such as moving to Agile calls for smart change management practices. Read on for our top five pointers for a smoother journey and implementing Agile successfully.

1. Gain stakeholder buy-in

As with any change, when implementing Agile practices, it is wise to gain stakeholder buy-in from the start. Achieve this by clearly setting out the issues you are facing, and where the Agile methodology makes a great solution. Be clear on costs, timelines, and what’s involved, as well as clearly defining the needs and the benefits.

Stakeholder buy-in will ensure you have a network of support throughout the switch. It can help you to iron out any bumps in the road, and give you the motivation and drive to achieve successful Agile implementation.

2. Train your entire team

Cultural change takes time. Although you have attained the support of stakeholders, onboarding the entire team will take time. The best thing you can do for your employees is build their understanding with professional development training. Courses such as PRINCE2 Agile Foundation provide knowledge of the PRINCE2 framework and how it can work hand-in-hand with flexible Agile practices.

Our previous piece, 3 Ways leaders can prepare employees for change, details strategies you can adopt for a smooth transformation.

3. Adjust your leadership approach

When traditional ‘waterfall’ practices are ingrained into your management approach, they can be hard to shake-off. Shift the mindset from ‘command and control’ to an inclusive, flexible approach which promotes honesty and crafts an open culture.

Change starts from within, and senior staff must lead by example when it comes to implementing Agile. Training can ensure you achieve this goal. Our PRINCE2 Agile courses advance to Practitioner level, ideal for leadership success.

4. Make bold changes

The revolution of starting out with Agile practices is bound to encompass some brave steps. Leading the change will involve making bold changes, such as reforming your team structure, adjusting your processes, and revising roles. Agile encourages small teams, as managing communication can be a struggle within larger teams. And so, you will likely find that you need to desize teams in order to effectively scale agility.

A further challenge you may face is hardwiring process changes into your organisation. Along with comprehensive training, providing clear direction and creating a sense of urgency, you can go a long way to ensuring employees aren’t dragging their heels when it comes to adopting new ways of working.

5. Define roles

Fundamental to successful Agile implementation is clarifying roles. Rather than hiring more project staff to take on roles, aim to revise your existing posts to work with Agile and scrum practices. It is important that all team members have a clear understanding of their reformed duties to achieve the best possible outcomes when shifting to Agile.

Restructuring and / or desizing your entire team is no mean feat. But, with clear role definitions, you can create opportunities to build trust and profit from a work environment which embodies Agile practices.

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