Within the research that I have conducted for my Master thesis the focus is on the challenges faced by an organization in its transformation in becoming an Agile organization. To be more specific, the focus is on a centralized organization which tries to implement the Agile methodology. The research also includes the way IT can help in overcoming these challenges as well as helping in creating the Agile environment. The academic literature around the topic of Agile is well described, but this is mainly focused on the use of it in software development. Now that Agile has find its entrance within other sectors, it is interesting to see how this works out.
The research was conducted in an organization in the Netherlands, a financial service provider. This organization is currently in the middle of such a transformation. By using qualitative research and conducting interviews with the people within this organization the research provides insight in how challenges within such a change are dealt with, both in a non-IT as in an IT manner.
In conclusion, the research places the challenges within three categories: ‘Involving employees in the decision-making process’, ‘coordination in the Agile environment’ and ‘dealing with resistance to change’.
In involving employees in the decision-making process, the challenges are mainly concerned in the big change. Instead of having no tot some decision-making responsibly the employees now do have a lot of responsibilities. This creates a need for pro-active behavior. It is therefore important to involve employees from the start, perhaps by creating role models. Besides this, it could help to involve everyone in meetings and discussions. The role of IT in this can be continuous improvement, and by that carrying out the Agile mindset.
Coordination and dealing with resistance
When it comes to coordination in the Agile environment it could be so that it is hard to grasp what is going on. Instead of dividing the work in a centralized manner, the teams now must organize their own planning and work. This requires coordination. By doing stand-ups and other meetings this can be tackled. IT can be used to get a better overview of what is going on, for example by the use of online SCRUM-boards.
In dealing with resistance to change, it is essential to create the right mindset among employees. When the Agile way of thinking is accepted, things will become a lot easier. In that is necessary to explain why the new way of working can be beneficial for the organization, and how it might help the employee on the individual level. Also, by using IT to improve work processes in an Agile manner it could help in the acceptance of the new way of working.
Are you interested in the Agile way of working and want to know more? Or do you want to know more about the Agile Transformation Method of Quintop? Feel free to contact us.