Skip to content
Blog Articles
News & Insights
Transparent Cube Balancing On It's Corner

Can Agile Transformation Work For Enterprise Companies?

Your CIO has been hounding you to move to agile and you hear your colleagues in the tech world have been using agile for years now. But can agile really work for large multinationals with complex global businesses, legacy off-the-shelf systems, and operations whose modernization looks more like the ‘90s than it does like the future? Besides, you have enough difficulty getting your IT department to deliver predictably, and agile looks like moving toward a more mysterious, opaque operating model where delivery dates are traded for agility.  How can you possibly run a key piece of your operations this way?

You feel comforted knowing that you can hold IT to deliver to business specifications within committed dates and budget.  But you worry that once the project is complete, IT will move on to the next project and never look back to see how impactful this project truly was. No one will measure adoption, effectiveness or impact, leaving your business and your customers feeling like little was really accomplished.

What if agile could be the mechanism that aligned your business with IT’s delivery?

What if you could partner with IT to deliver world-class, full life cycle digital experiences, from your GTM strategy through to customer support? What if business and IT were mutually accountable for the business outcomes and achieving KPI of digital investments? 

With the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), a core value is alignment, not just across teams, but between strategy and execution, between business and IT, between your customer and your company. Agile gives your business the opportunity to engage with IT and your customers in a much more effective, meaningful way that focuses on driving the outcomes you need.

Transitioning to agile methodology isn’t like building a house, in which you can’t move in until the entire structure is built.  Rather, it’s more like embarking on an epic road trip, steadily moving forward towards better ways of working, while continuously improving your delivery and the impact of each project. To start on your agile journey, here are some no regret moves:

  1. Set the customer at the center.

    Companies exist because of their customers. Somewhat surprisingly then, bringing customers center stage is a radical change for many companies. While customers are the subject matter experts in our digital products and experiences, putting what we offer to the test in real world situations, many companies are uncomfortable bringing customers inside the process of discovery and development. We worry that our customers expect perfection. While bringing customers in early may feel incredibly vulnerable, customers want to share how they feel about your products and digital experiences. They have great ideas and insights on how your company can better serve them. Customer experience research, surveys, design sprints and customer development relationships are valuable tools to draw out those insights and ensure that your digital experiences connect you with your customers and deliver real value with your investments.

  2. Lead with product management.

    A good digital product manager has all the qualities of an entrepreneur: understanding of the customer, the market, the potential, the pain points, the alternatives, and the vision. Armed with in-depth knowledge of the customer, a product manager paints a vision that aligns business strategy with customer needs. The vision informs the roadmap of where the product needs to go, what work is required, and what integration is needed to other systems or areas of the business. Working closely with design, product managers validate their ideas with user testing and data analytics throughout the product life-cycle.  As a critical part of your business, rather than IT, a product manager is driving the priorities for IT development on a continuous basis, monitoring the success of the product through operational metrics, customer satisfaction, and business KPIs.

  3. Engage early and often.

    As a business owner in the world of agile, you can no longer do a one-time handover of requirements and sit by idly while IT gets to work. Your input is critical at the onset and throughout the process.  Agile enables you to align IT with your business objectives through regular planning intervals, like in Scaled Agile’s Program Increment Planning (typically quarterly).  Delegated business owners throughout your organization will attend lower-level agile events, like team demos, in order to see regular progress with working software, not mere status reporting.  The short cycle of “sprints” or iterations ensures that your feedback is incorporated regularly for quick course corrections.  A system level demo, again quarterly, enables you to see the full picture across teams of those larger features that are being delivered for your customers and your business.

  4. Measure, learn and improve.

    Agile enables continuous delivery of software so that your customers will see regular updates in their experience.  You, in turn, can measure and view how customers are interacting with those changes, and more importantly, how those changes are impacting your business.  Measuring software delivery, efficiency and quality tells you how well your IT team is executing, but operational metrics tells you how digital experiences are impacting your business. Analytics tools like Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics enable you, as the business owner, to see what products are selling, which digital channels are most used, how well promotions are working, and what products customers want most, just to name a few.  You can see where customers are engaging more and where they are leaving you for something better.  Analytics enable the business and product manager to take a data-driven approach to prioritizing new opportunities, A/B testing ideas, and measuring ROI of features that were developed.

While an agile transformation may feel like a daunting journey and a herculean change management challenge, companies like TMG can help you successfully navigate and implement the changes across your organization.  We will bring focus to your customer-centricity and product management team in order to effectively move your strategy in a way that resonates with current and future customers.  We have an experienced team of agile practitioners and consultants that can help your company start your journey on the right foot, or if you are on that journey already, help you find ways to accelerate your agile transformation.

TMG logo  SAFe Scaled Agile Partner Bronze banner

TMG Insights right to your inbox.

May 14, 20246 minute read
Get TMG Insights to your Inbox

Related Posts

TMG Insights right to your inbox.

Back To Top