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 Unleashing Empowerment  Unleashing Empowerment   Lifecycle Localisation   Lifecycle Localisation

Fast paced change, restrictions on headcount increases, dissatisfaction with project failures, challenges on budgets, a growing can do mentality, cost cutting initiatives from government and the sheer volume of projects to be delivered are driving the adoption of agile approaches. They bring along with them empowerment and the delegating of authority to regulate and control work, effort and priorities but also start to reveal the barriers we are likely to face when we seek to introduce agile in to an organisation.

These barriers include and cover many concepts. Objection or empathy from your Management or Executive is probably the most serious and damaging. Senior backing to any change proposals is universally important and crucial for the success of an agile transformation or for the agreement to proceed with the first agile project.

There is an alteration to management style when delivering agile projects. The challenge is to uncover the willingness of the executive, management and personnel to allow your organisation to embrace a change of emphasis from control to empowerment. This will begin to uncover the extent to which your organisation is open to this opportunity and reveal any team resistance or embedded contrary beliefs. This will help you to ring fence these negative challenges and allow you the opportunity to boost the catalysts to begin the drive to change and bolster the chances of a change success.

There is a training and resources issue to overcome. The right people with the right skills have to sourced, tempted onboard, trained, inducted, assisted, monitored and encouraged. The team will make mistakes, for sure, especially where this is a first attempt at agile and a blame-free culture needs to be setup so that failure at the individual and team level can be allowed and still covered by senior management. Commercial considerations exist also and this is most marked in organisations that have fixed commercial arrangements or contracts with existing suppliers. These contracts may have no mention of the introduction of a new development approach or explicit denial of this opportunity. This is again where the buy-in of senior management is key. All contracts can be re-negotiated and genuinely strategic suppliers will want to buy-in to any strategic customer improvements to demonstrate their commitment to the contract. But it takes hearts and minds to come with you on the journey.

There are changes to be made and these changes need to be adopted and tested. Some are more difficult than others however. The decision making process needs improving. It needs to be swifter and less hierarchical, devolved but still of high quality. This is both difficult to achieve and difficult to test. The proof however is the efficacy of the decisions and the assistance it gives to the project. Unfortunately it is more easily measured when it fails, when it fails to deliver suitable decisions in a suitable timeframe.

The proposals to convert to or adopt agile processes will need to be examined to ensure they do not conflict or splinter the existing processes. Oftentimes, new processes are believed to do this but with adjustment and proper alignment this is minimised. What you need is a way to deploy agile techniques and establish Toolkit based behaviours whilst maintaining adherence to and alignment with your organisational Lifecycle. The mechanism to achieve this is to define, and agree with key stakeholders, a working repeatable but necessarily swift route through the structure of that Lifecycle. Your first transformation project or initiative finds and uncovers the route or path through it. Alternatively, if you have the time and resources, a project can be run beforehand to establish the necessary lifecycle alignment you demand.

Of course there is a term for this: Lifecycle Localisation.


 Unleashing Empowerment     Unleashing Empowerment   Lifecycle Localisation    Lifecycle Localisation

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