Why Companies Invest in a Scaled Agile Transformation

Nov 11, 2022

Ultimately our clients want to deliver great products and services to the market. They want to grow their customer base and improve loyalty of their current customers. They want to deter competitors from playing in their space by always having a pulse on the market, leveraging their position, understanding their weaknesses and threats and most importantly being able to pivot to take advantage of the market conditions. This sounds straightforward, so let’s examine a few of the obstacles in the way of success – what is it that our clients are trying to improve or overcome?

Top Reasons Companies Invest in Scaled Agile Framework

1. Aligning strategic goals at all levels is challenging

The alignment of strategic goals can get lost across levels and divisions of the organization. With so much time spent defining strategies, this one is hard to understand, but it is a very common obstacle. C-Suite leadership don’t always have a clear picture of where their investments, particularly in engineering capacity, are going. It’s a controversial concept, but fiefdoms, silos, politics and pet projects within an organization prevail far more often than sound business decisions. Lifecycle management is lacking and decisions to sunset legacy or redundant systems are not made.

We conducted a simple survey with several organizations where we asked engineers how their daily work supports the company strategy – they were unable to connect the two due to lack of communication. Therefore, these engineers had not been positioned to offer creative solutions. A Scaled Agile transformation offers mechanisms that can offer much needed transparency to funding and priorities in a way that cascades throughout every level of the organization.

2. We spend a lot of time building the wrong thing

Some organizations are highly productive with well-developed technical practices that enable quality, but they are building the wrong thing(s). Again, this is a concept that can be hard to understand from the inside looking out. There are some key patterns observed in organizations from enterprise-level corporations to small businesses.

IT and product organizations have large separations and are not aligned. Product discovery is not thoroughly and repetitively done, customer personas are not clearly understood, and market analysis is incomplete. There’s nothing more costly than building the wrong thing or not having your product or service utilized! Scaled Agile has introduced product concepts over the recent years to decrease this risk. The framework also has frequent mechanisms for building in feedback loops that act like a radar detecting the need to pivot.

3. We struggle with MVP (minimal viable or valuable product)

Everyone wants speed to market, but ultimately cannot stop adding more features and functionality to a release. Some want perfection. Some believe it won’t be marketable without more. Some believe they may never get that feature in there if it’s not now and don’t want to have to fight for prioritization and funding later. Regardless, every organization struggles with the right balance to get a product to market to capture market share without a competitor beating them to it. Scaled Agile provides a vocabulary and framework to help make these decisions as well as technical infrastructure which makes it easier to release on demand when the business is ready.

4. We need productivity and efficiency

Cost is on the mind of nearly every company – improving productivity and efficiency are top priorities. The pandemic has brought new pressures to many companies. It’s not about doing more with less which many executives have heard with agile. It’s about focusing on the highest value, ensuring we are building the right things, avoiding waste caused by lack of priority alignment or perhaps funding and prioritization bottlenecks. Scaled Agile framework enables this and also removes inefficiencies through advanced test automation and DevSpecOps technical practices. It also controls Work In Progress (WIP) – too many priorities at once can result in a lot of work in motion, but none of it complete which means zero return on investment.

5. Companies want predictable delivery

Executives and leaders yearn for “Predictable Delivery” of Business Value. After decades of projects that miss promised functionality, run late and overrun budgets – senior leaders become frustrated before realizing the cause is at the core of their operations. Scaled Agile offers planning mechanisms which bake in historical data and team metrics – this data is based on stable teams, working in smaller increments which makes it easier to plan work, execute and learn from the results. Change control processes are no longer a bottleneck – decisions are decentralized to those with the most detailed understanding of the work and business needs – creating an agile decision making process instead of believing we can set a plan for years that will never change which is unrealistic.

6. Employee engagement is a top priority

Employee Engagement has become the top priority for many organizations. Without high quality talent and domain expertise, let’s face it – delivery is not going to happen quickly. Resource shortages emerging from these last 18 months have taken on new levels of concern given that it’s joined by job shuffling and escalated employee attrition. This has put new emphasis on employee satisfaction. This is a perfect match for what Scaled Agile offers – the values and mindset have always been about people, your most important asset, first. It is the minds of incredible talented people collaborating that overcome obstacles, product products and services, and offer innovative and creative ideas.

Invest in your achievement

We don’t just help with company processes or business process improvement. We put it all together to provide real business value. C-suite leaders around the world are starting to see the correlation between scaled agile and employee morale – a more motivated workforce leads to better business agility and achieving the net promoter scores (NPS) every organization desires.

Fortune 500 companies are constantly turning over, but high attrition rates shouldn’t be the new business reality. Respected industry research firms clearly state that a Lean Agile mindset must be a cornerstone of your organization to stay competitive. That starts with your employees.

ICON Agility Services has a proven track record of helping enterprises stay competitive, grow, and adapt their business strategy to emerging opportunities.