The larger the enterprises the more important it is to put things into perspective and gain a definitive competitive advantage in a world full of cut-throat competition. Agile methodologies started as a way of developing software but are today widely used in diverse departments from marketing to internal communication.
Organizations today need to change and this exigency more often than not is dictated by customers, competitors and the market as a whole. There is no choice but to be nimbler, more progressive and taking the opportunity as it comes in order to win in this game of higher revenues and bigger market share.
Uncertainty today is more of a norm than an exception in an increasingly volatile world. This puts immense pressures on company’s top management to orchestrate a culture of strong network-oriented performance rather than just having the all individual team members engaged or involved. Some of the key aspects that all organizations need to follow in order to make agile methodologies part of the corporate milieu are – the right processes, the right tools and a rigid code of discipline among the rank and file of the organization.
Large enterprises have large projects, too many team members spread across multiple time zones with various and usually complex degrees of interdependencies. All this is tough to manage without the right tools and procedures. Thus agile methodologies have become more of an imperative for such mammoth organizations.
Implementing agility on such large scale needs a lot of things to fall into place without which it just won’t be able to take off as expected. It needs a radical shift in the way people think and how they work with one another. Agile processes have to be part of the change management system and should be at the top of the priority list.
Gaining a definitive advantage by deploying agility at scale
Implementing agile practices in large corporations needs much more commitment from all stakeholders than what it takes to implement agile methodologies in a small or medium enterprise. For one, the teams working on large projects can be in the hundreds and manage this kind of a scale is itself a herculean task. But nonetheless, it’s possible with the right framework in place. Team members need to be more self-organizing than ever before, they need to find out more opportunities to meet face-to-face, be more forthcoming about their work and challenges and the iterations have to happen real quickly in order for the organization to achieve a definitive competitive advantage.
Most clients today have a product or service requirement and it is not unusual for them to change their requirements ad hoc and that too midway in the project. The waterfall methodology does not entertain such kind, of course, corrections and agile is naturally the answer to staying on top of today’s demanding client needs. For agility to happen at scale there might be a need to coach the teams in agile methodology best practices and to make it clear what is expected from each individual at the very outset.
Agility cannot be enforced overnight. Having an agile capability across the board is also easier said than done. So what large enterprises can do is deploy agile methodologies in piecemeal fashion by implementing it in departments that can readily benefit from such a change. There are legacy systems and practices which need more time and mindset change before such game-changing practices can takeover. Thus the current business needs, challenges, process capabilities, resource availability, customer validation time frame, all need to be taken into consideration before implementing agile practices to gain full advantage.
Key Takeaway: When agility is done the right way the outcome is readily manifested for everybody to notice and appreciate. The ‘silo’ mentality where each department takes unilateral decisions without consultation of the related and interdependent departments, will slowly but surely vanish. Ponderous legacy process-oriented departments will be challenged and forced to evolve to become more nimble and progressive. All this can have a profound and positive impact on the way large enterprises take up new projects and live up to client and customer expectations and routinely excel at work in an ever-evolving global scenario.