Agile was created to solve the concerns associated with traditional waterfall methodology. The key attention of Agile is to help teams to deliver better services and products at a faster pace. Nevertheless, Agile transformation is not easy. It comes with a lot of Agile transition challenges. The Agile transformation challenges are to be handled well by the organizations that plan to follow Agile Approach.

Transition in Agile Challenges and Ways To Overcome Them:

Now, let us detail the top Agile Transformation challenges that organizations can face and ways to overcome them:

1. Influences from Third-Party:

Third-party influence is the key factor that contributes to Agile transformation failure in most organizations. Many organizations nowadays are sealed into either fixed-price or fixed-outcome contracts. Else, it becomes mandatory for them to work with mates who are not ready to shift or do not move to the Agile Delivery Model. Let us think that your business intends to follow Agile. But, one of your suppliers does not show interest in Agile. Here, you can see Agile transition challenges.

How to Overcome?

The best technique you can go by to overcome this challenge easily is to talk again with the contractor. Else, you can search for a different contractor already following or interested in following Agile.

When you take the case of software development, Agile principles include spotting requirements. Further, it also encompasses solution improvement. These things follow a combined approach in Agile. When you follow the Agile approach, the whole project will be split into smaller portions. So it will be easier for suppliers to understand that Agile is beneficial. The point here is that if a supplier is not ready to follow Agile, you can try to reassure the supplier by pointing out the benefits of Agile.

2. Investment Decisions Need Certainty in Advance:

Many organizations follow well-established funding models. They do this to ensure they do not waste investment on tasks that do not deliver the best return on investment. Regarding the Agile model, this certainty upfront is not achievable. So, it becomes a challenge.

How to Overcome?

To handle this issue, funding models in organizations will have to adapt to spot new associations. Stakeholders should be motivated to let go of this mask of upfront certainty. Rather, they should see investment as an iterative test-and-learn cycle. In Agile, regular iterations, minimum viable products, prototypes, and proof-of-concept are crucial. So, handling this challenge will be easier not upfront but later.

3. Change in Behavior:

For successful Agile transformation, not only Agile moves but also Agile thinking is important. Also, there should be changes in the behavior of the entire team. Each team member should be nurtured to think Agile, So changing behavior is one of the biggest Agile transition challenges.

How to Overcome?

The Product Owner can take responsibility for overcoming this challenge. The Product Owner should learn to guide against doing and support the teams in finding solutions. With regular guidance, the behavior of the team members will change for a positive outcome in Agile Transformation.

4. Organizational Culture:

The fundamental culture of the organization can challenge Agile transformation. The core culture of an organization impacts not only how the business is done but also how the employees are treated. Some key features of Agile culture include open processes, empowered teams and employees, transparent communication, more appreciation, and better engagement. These things cannot happen in an organization that follows a rigid culture of a top-down approach. These organizations do not value human resources. They do not realize that human resources are yet to embrace change.

How to Overcome?

To overcome this challenge, the whole organization must act and respond. Every individual should even think variously in each aspect. These things should happen from the base of work planning to project completion. But, this shift will not take place suddenly. It needs commitment, time, and intention from top-level management. Only then, Agile transformation will become a reality.

5. Getting Buy-in:

When choosing Agile, most organizations will start by applying Agile practices to only a single vertical. They generally do this to a vertical with small teams and fewer leaders. Indeed, beginning Agile transformation as a pilot project is a good idea. But, its effect can be restricted greatly. This restricting nature can prevent the executive team from acknowledging the far-reaching effect and strategic value when Agile is implemented throughout the organization.

How to Overcome?

Real Agile transformation needs an organization to be holistic in its approach and practice Agile throughout the organization, not in one or two teams. Indeed, it is fine to start the Agile transformation process with a single department initially. It should not cease there. Most businesses fail to reveal the true value of Agile to executives. They do this by limiting Agile to only a single department. When they do not execute buy-in, Agile Teams are more susceptible to losing support when other business-level chances arise. In turn, they can face hardships when they try to scale Agile. The idea is to explain the benefits of Agile to other teams and convince them so that the entire organization can turn Agile.

6. Not Investing in Hiring the Right Resources:

Agile believes in building self-organizing teams. This needs hiring skills and highly-motivated individuals. The right human resources can function as fuel for supporting the Agile journey of organizations. However, one of the Agile transformation challenges organizations face is needing the right human resources. Otherwise, they need the resources with the right training. According to a study, nearly 66% of team leaders specified that team members need help understanding Agile and the value it delivers. Successful Agile transformation will only happen when the team members understand Agile completely.

How to Overcome?

When bringing people on board, the Agile team should not compromise. Agile does not support micromanagement. So, it is important to have people who can manage themselves when creating an Agile team. The idea here is the pay attention to people and just skills. Agile teams should have people with the right values, mindset, and personality. When hiring people, it is better to spot the intrinsic skills required to succeed in Agile projects and where you can find such resources. It is better not to compromise in any place. At times, the Agile teams might need some people immediately. But, Product Owners should keep working when bringing people into the Agile team.

7. Dependencies:

One of the major Agile transformation challenges is dependency. Yes, when handling dependencies, an Agile organization only has two choices. The initial option is to manage those dependencies, while the other choice is to break them.

Most organizations indeed have dependencies. In this case, it is better to begin the shift with an unaligned team. It means that the transformation can start with a team that performs well without many dependencies on other teams. Nevertheless, everything can fall apart when the team has any reliances to be synched. Even when it comes to an organization where all teams are Agile. If one of the teams does not perform well, dependency of other teams on this non-performing team can be a challenge in Agile transformation.

How to Overcome?

Indeed, dependency is good in any organization. Nevertheless, it can lead to many unintended effects during Agile Transformation. To hinder this, we should split the teams and spot how to break up competencies. When the reorganization is planned correctly, it will be simpler to manage things so that Agile transformation will happen smoothly.

8. Uncomfortable Stakeholders:

One of the Agile transformation challenges in most organizations is the stakeholders themselves. Yes, studies show that Agile transformation can make stakeholders feel frustrated. The reason is that when a business turns Agile, stakeholders lose control and predictability. Many stakeholders will react to this condition. They do this intending to reassert governance and control. In turn, the Agile Transformation can fail.

How to Overcome?

The best technique to overcome this challenge is to conduct stakeholder education sessions in advance. During these sessions, they should be provided with complete knowledge of what to expect during Agile transformation. Stakeholders should be aware that Agile will trade predictability and control. But, it will do it for bigger gains in productivity.

9. Siloed Teams:

Let us consider that in an organization, there are silos between functional areas. These silos can make it hard for teams to collaborate to improve delivery time. When teams need to hand off work to other teams continuously, there are chances that backlogs and prioritization conflicts will slow the process down.

How to Overcome?

To overcome this issue, the best thing that can be done during Agile transformation is to build cross-functional teams that own work all the way right from idea to delivery. Here, organizational silos should be broken down. This is challenging. But, it should be an integral part of Agile transformation.

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