3 Misconceptions IT Leaders have about Agile
Today ‘agile’ is a buzz-word, and almost every organisation aspires to adopt its ‘best practices’. Startups and mature companies go for agile in pursuit of its advantages – decreased cycle times, improved customer collaboration, timely response to change, and so on. Despite its popularity, there still some common misconceptions CIOs have about agile.
#1. Budget adjustment
Agile transformation should take into account every aspect of your organisation if you want it to be successful. Those companies that aspire to benefit from the agile framework and accelerate the software development cycle, need to make sure that an agile development approach is driven by the capital budget (budget for capital expenditures/assets – equipment and property that you expect to last more than one year), not the operating budget (budget for day-to-day expenses).
#2. Knowledge gap and fear of change
Here is one of the most common mistakes made by CIOs. They read articles about agile and Scrum and think it’s a great idea. Then, they hire agile coaches who are expected to lead this transformation. The problem is that it doesn’t work this way!
When the command comes exclusively from the above, people face a knowledge gap – they don’t really understand new principles and practices that have to go through an organisation, and it causes resistance.
Many companies that move to agile have to deal with the fear of change and the fear of becoming irrelevant. Agile means creating self-organizing teams that are more independent, so managers and executives often fear that they will become irrelevant and are going to be out of a job. In this case, an agile coach can be really helpful in explaining roles and responsibilities in agile, thus bringing down these fears and uncertainty to a minimum.
#3. Mindset shift
One of the biggest misconceptions is that agile is going to be simple. But it is not as easy as it sounds. Though the principles of the agile manifesto are easy to understand but they are difficult to integrate. Agile transition requires a complete shift in the entire organisation from bottom to top.
It’s more than just sending people to training or hiring a coach – you have to move from the traditional waterfall approach to a completely different agile mindset of iteration and collaboration.
Keep in mind that agile transformation doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to understand the agile principles, apply them in the organisation and get accustomed to the agile practices. Start small: start with a pilot project, learn from it, and then spread agile throughout the organisation.