Elevating Agility from Zero to One

Samson Choong, Government Director, Head of Agile Transformation, Financial institution of Singapore

Samson Choong, Executive Director, Head of Agile Transformation, Bank of Singapore

Samson Choong, Government Director, Head of Agile Transformation, Financial institution of Singapore

Folks began to follow Agile many a long time in the past. It may be traced again so far as the Nineteen Forties, when Kanban was first launched. In 2001, the agile manifesto was written, and that grew to become the tipping level for agile adoption world wide. Since then, many organizations have expressed curiosity in and invested in agile. Sadly, not each group was profitable of their agile adoption. There are a lot of elements contributing to the success or failure of an agile transformation. I had led just a few agile transformations in several organizations, some not so profitable, some fairly profitable, and a few very profitable.  I can share just a few key learnings from my expertise to assist organizations improve their success fee on this journey.  

Begin From The place You Are

Most individuals assume that they shouldn’t begin an agile transformation if the individuals are not prepared. That is the best delusion: there gained’t be a company that’s prepared for agile and transformation. If there’s one, the possibilities are the group has already reworked.  Any group can begin the agile transformation by beginning the place they’re with what they’re doing now. Don’t waste time doing nothing however beginning revolutionary change interactively and incrementally. Everybody ought to assume massive, begin small, and transfer quick.  

Extra With Much less

Agile transformation is a journey. It is going to take time for change; don’t rush. Give time for the group and folks to digest, construct belief, set up a tradition, and develop a mindset. Keep away from swarming the folks with all practices and instruments. There is no such thing as a shortcut to it; one massive bang gained’t work. Be taught to do much less to get extra out of it. Prioritization is the important thing on this case; don’t at all times work on the simple one however discover the candy spot between impression and energy that may produce the very best worth attainable. Construct a powerful basis on crew agility first. Subsequent, work on enterprise agility and finally set the group up for achievement to grow to be a very enterprise agility group. Nobody builds a home with out laying the inspiration. One of many widespread errors of massive organizations is that they scale agility too quick and too quickly. Because of this, issues are scaled relatively than being agile.  

Pragmatic Agile Method

The group should rent the correct folks to steer the transformation. It may be very pricey for a company if the mistaken folks lead it into doing the mistaken issues. There are some errors which might be irreversible and can stick with the group for years. Agile should be utilized in context; there is no such thing as a such factor as one dimension matches all. A company shouldn’t pressure everybody to do agile the identical means.  Each enterprise is totally different; we have to embrace range and inclusion. Subsequently, we needed to be pragmatic in our agile adoption. Don’t apply agile blindly; we may be “similar however totally different”. Decide and select issues that work for the crew and the enterprise context as an alternative of sticking with the speculation. Give the crew the pliability to determine what works for them in response to their maturity stage. Because the crew matures from Shu to Ha to Ri, they anticipate to extend their pragmaticism of their agile means of working.  This enabled the crew to be really self-organized, self-directed, and a high-performance crew.

“Each enterprise is totally different; we have to embrace range and inclusion. Subsequently, we needed to be pragmatic in our agile adoption. Don’t apply agile blindly; we may be “similar however totally different.”

Experimental Tradition

Agile is about having a progress mindset. One of many methods to nurture a progress mindset is thru experimentation. Growing an experimental tradition unleashed the organizations agility. Agility won’t occur by simply speaking; one ought to discuss the discuss and stroll the stroll.  The group should present a secure surroundings for folks to fail quick and fail ahead. Cease boxing folks up with a pre-defined boundary as an alternative of setting them free to assume and discover the unimaginable. Encourage everybody to assume exterior the field, even and not using a field. That is how the unimaginable turns into attainable. Present the house for folks to fail quick and fail ahead. Organizations that assist experimental cultures can reply and adapt sooner to modifications.

Lead with Worth

There’s at all times debate between doing agile versus being agile. Which one comes first? It’s a chicken-and-egg query. Tradition follows values, practices observe tradition, and outcomes observe practices. Subsequently, agile should lead with worth. The anchor of agility is worth, not follow. One of many widespread errors is that organizations focus an excessive amount of on practices and instruments. Embedding the agile values in folks is way extra highly effective than making them follow the agile strategies accurately. The agile worth will create the correct mindset and tradition to develop the correct agile means of working.  


Rome was not in-built a day. Likewise, organizations will take time to raise agility from zero to at least one. This isn’t a vacation spot, however a journey. This journey can have ups and downs. Each win will transfer the crew ahead, whereas each loss will let the crew be taught one thing priceless that can assist them do higher going ahead. The 5 key learnings I shared ought to speed up your transformation journey and generate higher outcomes that matter to your group. Agile is for the folks and by the folks. Persons are on the heart of agility.