We explained in previous articles that Digital Transition is made of new tools to improve productivity, a better Digital presence, innovative products and services. Moreover, those innovations should come up quickly, efficiently, sometimes breaking away from former uses and lifting the barriers blocking their rollout. Last but not least, to be successful and create value, Digital Transition must be genuinely inclusive. All Teams must come on board and be involved on innovative projects.
Opportunity to change
So Digital Transition is a huge opportunity to unleash the energies and test new ways of working in order to maximize value creation.
Lean Agility is one answer to those issues. Lean Agility enables you to get started with your digital project while securing your chances of success. We believe you can’t operate Digital Transformation without Lean Agility.
Having managed Agile projects for many years, some with a technical or innovative scope, some with an organizational scope, we became confident that most of Lean Agile principles apply to all projects.
Principles more than a Method
Let’s restate that contrary to popular belief there is no universal “Agile Method”. The most famous method inspired by Agile Principles is Scrum. Scrum is dedicated to programming teams and very efficient. But it’s just one actual application of agile principles to a specific context. Lean Agility is not just about Scrum and artifacts such as User Stories, ceremonies and information radiators.
Lean Agility is made of bodies of knowledge, core values, principles and competencies. What is at stake is to adapt and apply Lean Agility to your specific professional context and from there to transform your organization.
Digital Transition projects are perfect to test and apply Lean Agility to your organization, and get started.
Users’ Feedback and Customer Centricity
Let’s emphasize that Lean Agility is customer centric and supports frequent deliveries. It’s the best way to test quickly, get frequent users’ feedbacks and from there to pivot in good time, which means to take the best advantages from opportunities. This ability to pivot strongly secures your project. Don’t spend too much time and money to engineer your digital project in details. Set a quick launch and trust your teams and realities on the ground to guide you.
Another advantage to meet with customers’ realities is that you would soon get warned if results were not as successful as expected. It enables to “fail fast” which means to stop the project as early as possible, when doomed to failure. And if it happens, don’t worry about the money you have already spent in vain but on the contrary feel glad to have the opportunity to reallocate budgets still available to more cost-effective projects.
Let’s also emphasize that Lean Agility fosters operational excellence. Each iteration delivery must be release-quality and deliver expected value. It’s often a new paradigm for Teams which tend to consider that an 80% achieved product is worth 80% of the total value expected. Unfortunately, it’s not true. Only users can assess a product or a service value. And their assessment is a binary one. It works or it doesn’t work. The value delivered can only be 0% or 100%. Lean Agile operational excellence pulls Teams to deliver working products or services. Those products or services might deliver less value than initially expected but, at least, it will do the job.
Let’s finally emphasize that Lean Agility requires motivated and self-determined teams. You must accept that your Digital Transformation will help develop your teams’autonomy. More autonomous means more self-organised, empowered to prioritize tasks and to choose their way of working. In short, more self-managed. As you decide to go the Lean-Agile way, you empower your teams. It’s like opening the Pandora’s box. You will benefit from all this released energy but you will lose a part of your “regular” power. Make sure you are ready for this evolution before getting started as there is no way back.
Tools and artifacts (Backlog, Kanban, Users stories, ceremonies, sprint, visible radiators) can be adapted to all your Lean-Agile projects, even when they do not address programming. Those tools will enable you to become predictable. It’s a major gain from Lean-Agile as it strengthens planning and budgeting activities. Incremental delivery and operational excellence are core practices of Lean Agility. They ensure that the features you delivered are effective and valuable for the users. You can then decide to stop the lean-agile project on any milestone or when you run out of budget. You are not held hostage. What has been delivered works. No more innovative projects lasting endlessly, costing 3 times the initial budget and delivering deceptive results.
Go your own Agile Way
In conclusion, Lean Agility must be adapted to your context and it’s your own Lean Agile method that you shall design and improve relentlessly, as your projects progress. So, implementing Lean Agility through your Digital Transformation projects is an appropriate first step toward a wider application in your organisation, getting “Agile at scale”.
Beyond its belief in Lean-Agility, XPR-Transition gained a great experience in managing Agile Digital projects. Certified SAFe SPC (SAFe Program Consultant) and PMI ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner), we coach your project Teams and support them all along your Lean-Agile journey.
To get started we offer a 2h free, non-bidding phone call. Register here to get called back as soon as possible.