If a company is undergoing an agile transformation, it helps to take a look at the experience gained by other companies. Many agile companies organise visiting days that allow an insight into their work. ‘Agile safaris’ – as we call these visits to exchange experiences – are always inspiring, but by discussing the purpose of the ‘safari’ in advance, they can also provide concrete practical help. A moderator can help in the planning and implementation of the visit.
Confidence for your own transformation
I recently accompanied a company from the finance sector on one of these agile safaris. The management team is in the initial phase of a transformation and wanted to look closely at attitude and behaviour success factors in particular. The team wanted to exchange experiences with other companies to gain more confidence and trust in their own agile transformation. Together with the customer, we selected two suitable companies, irrespective of sector – an industrial factory and a department for software development in the telecom sector – and created a rough agenda. As agile coaches, we accompanied these visits and helped to visualise what was heard. After the discussions, we motivated the team to record interesting observations and insights.
The big five
We were able to use these insights to identify topics that could be transferred to the company and to determine concrete first steps. The management team then agreed on specific measures for the following five main findings – the ‘big five’:
- Responsibility: Responsibilities will be written down and made visible via the delegation board.
- Team commitment: The team needs to set its own common goal periodically.
- Incentives: No individual performance reviews or bonuses are needed. The performance of the team as a whole is rewarded.
- End-to-end processes: Value creation is made transparent through the customer added value, with the inclusion of the employees involved.
- Errors: An agile approach does not solve problems – it makes them visible. The team will practice recognising errors and encouraging discussions of them.
The experience showed how valuable it is when everyone involved in the transformation participates in the ‘safari’. The visits and the resulting findings motivated the whole team and gave them confidence in their own agile journey.