The Implications of Enterprise Agile Transformations

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Continuing our series of interviews with Latam Agile Luminaries, this time I had the pleasure to interview David Canteros from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

David’s background includes a Master’s in Organizational Change and a Certified Enterprise Coach designation from the Scrum Alliance. David has accumulated over a decade of working experience as a coach for very large organizations in his native Argentina and several other countries.

David decided to share his experiences introducing Agile in organizations, and for starters he provides a definition for Enterprise Agility which for him is defined as this: Enterprise Agility goes beyond business Agility and has to do with the evolution of product development, organization structure, internal processes, problem solving, and client relationships.

David pointed out that organizations which really embrace Enterprise Agility should not just copy models and organizational designs, rather they should develop their own approach based on Agile. Organizations like this are not focused in applying Agile methods by the book, instead they aim to better server their customers by delivering products/services using Agile’s guiding principles. Summarizing his thoughts, David said that Enterprise Agility implies the evolution of an organization as a whole towards Agility.

When starting an Agile Enterprise Transformation, the CEO of an organization has to be fully convinced and acknowledge the implications of such effort, David said. In his words, an Agile Enterprise Transformation is not about completing projects faster using an Agile framework or method; it is much more than that. For instance, the power structure has to evolve to really empower the individuals who do the work, and for this change to occur full buy-in from executives is a must.

David identified domains that will be affected in an Enterprise Agile Transformation — these are: business, process, digital, and cultural. These domains are intertwined and contain areas and departments that will need to change, be automated, or restructured. Each organization will need to discover how to effect change in these domains without jeopardizing the organization revenue stream.

The deep transformations that David described imply that employees will need to acquire new technical, business, social, and Agile skills. Employees that insist in specializing and cultivating just one skill will need to rethink their position so they can be part of the transformed organization.

When describing a true large Agile organization, David mentioned that it can be seen as an ecosystem of business units where each has a product that serves customers and brings revenue. In the center of this ecosystem, there are supporting areas that help business units to succeed. Management in this organization doesn’t actually manage by giving orders but instead by facilitating the decision making processes.

In closing, David mentioned that CEOs need forward thinking that enables them to evolve their organizations so they can be adaptive and better equipped to navigate the challenging times we live in. The pandemic, in David’s view, is just one more element that could help CEOs realize the urgency for taking the lead in evolving their organizations.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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