Following one of the known Agile frameworks such as Scrum, or Kanban within a team is an easy decision to make compared to doing the same thing at a division or organization level.
The moment the notion of the whole division going Agile is envisaged, there are lots of complications that immediately present themselves in front of us. Basic questions may stump organizations towards this kind of move.
- How to move all teams to Agile at the same time?
- Would it be very complex to do this?
- How much effort and money would it consume?
- What will happen to existing customer deliveries?
- What will happen to people in existing teams in terms of their roles and reporting structures?
- Would Agile throw everything off gear?
- Would it guarantee to be better than a traditional software development model?
- When would it be right to judge whether or not Agile is working?
- What are the things needed to be in place to assist Agile development?
- What about training employees in Agile?
- What would be their ramp up time?
- Should there be someone hired to coach the division moving to Agile?
Irrespective of the kind of questions that come up that can challenge teams and make it seem daunting to move to Agile, the most important element of any Agile transformation is the buy-in from the senior management within the company.
Since they would normally be the primary sponsors for such movements and decisions, it becomes really important that they believe the benefits that would be offered by moving to Agile, when the transition is done properly. So how is it possible that they would given an in principle approval for this?
One of the important deciding factors here would be the extent of knowledge the senior management has about Agile given their past experience, or having seeing their peers in the industry follow Agile, etc. Conferences attended in the past, and having read about the success stories of Agile, having dealt with customers who are Agile, having dealt with Agile contracts are all factors that would help the decision.
Even if they have none of this, as long as they have seen a sample iteration or two delivering working software as POCs can directly show them the benefits of using Agile.
It is thus important that any organization attempting Agile has a senior management buy-in for efforts, costs, and outcomes.