Agile is hard. After over 20 years, organizations are still failing to realize the full benefits of Agile transformations at scale. They’ve seen the impact of Agile at the team level, being able to improve productivity, decrease risks and costs, and increase revenue, but they are failing to maximize those benefits across the enterprise.

“As your organization starts to grow, you’re trying to accomplish so much more. So how do you do that? It’s not just by adding more Agile teams across the business. It’s also not just about speed or delivery velocity. We’ve learned along the way that it’s about creating a shared vision across the business and building the right things,” said Brook Appelbaum, director of Product Marketing at portfolio management and work management company Planview.

Organizations who have seen success at the team level often make the mistake of adding more Agile project teams to solve problemsw. Sure, they end up with a bunch of fast-moving teams, but those teams are operating in silos, without the necessary coordination and connection. “They are not really realizing the true benefits of Agile,” Appelbaum explained.

 To be successful at scale, organizations have to take the learnings of their Agile teams and apply them at scale: incorporating feedback loops, iterating and coordinating work across a much more complex structure – and key to all of this is a shared vision. By connecting teams and enabling them to see how their work fits into the bigger picture, Appelbaum believes organizations can improve their ability to plan, coordinate, improve their time to market, and gain a host of other Agile benefits.

“As you start to grow, some of the building blocks of Agile – transparency, collaboration, continuous improvement — become so much more important because you have to be really thoughtful about how you engage, explain, coordinate, share, and iterate to create value at every turn,” she said.

Calculating your Agile ROI

In an effort to help organizations better understand their Agile efforts at scale, Planview recently released the Agile Transformation ROI Calculator. The calculator aims to shine a light on Agile’s art of the possible. It is designed as a way to facilitate hard conversations around Agile transformation successes and failures, and provides organizations with a way to look at cost optimization, reducing time to market, and improving employee job satisfaction and productivity.

 “Often when an Agile Transformation isn’t going as expected, it’s due to reasons that are harder to measure: cultural mismatches, ‘performative’ Agile or lack of executive commitment,” said Appelbaum. “The ROI calculator provides critical information that shines a light on some of these challenges, and provides real metrics that can help organizations carve a path forward to success.” 

The ROI calculator highlights metrics that include how long it takes to get a major initiative or epic to completion, and if those times can be improved. It sheds light on whether teams are working in isolation or if they’re able to communicate, coordinate, plan and work together as a cross-functional group of teams. 

Additionally, it estimates job satisfaction and reduced employee turnover for Agile team members that are able to utilize their favorite Agile team tools. For example, different teams like to work with different tools, Planview provides integration capabilities so teams can still work within their existing processes or tools of choice without disrupting their workflow or productivity. As a result, organizations can get that consolidated view of what’s going on across the business, while keeping their key developer talent happy.

However, Appelbaum also noted that, “Organizations must begin to identify and address some of the challenges that are preventing them from realizing true success with Agile at scale, whether cultural, procedural, or even technical: for example, are the products you’re using limiting your ability to scale? It’s paramount to figure out how to connect [teams], how to get them to plan together, synchronize and collaborate together because that’s really what it’s all about, being able to take these big, important, complex initiatives and decompose them into bite-size chunks of incremental value delivery.”

Planview plans to bolster the calculator in the future. “One of the things we hesitate to talk about is Agile risk and failure, but it does happen…there is still a level of failure in every type of project and we are looking to add some metrics around those mis-steps as well,” said Appelbaum.

The calculator was designed as a way of facilitating a conversation within the organization about their current and future Agile successes. If you’d like to learn more about Planview’s Agile ROI calculator or Planview’s Agile solutions visit their website.


Content provided by SD Times and Planview