How are we really doing in South Africa with regards to Agile adoption and maturity of Agile with a focus on large organisations that are all going through this fundamental change?
Over the last 7 years of being involved in Agile adoptions in South Africa, primarily, at large financial services organisations, I have observed several trends that have made the adoption of Agile particularly challenging. The challenges can be summarised as follows:
• Lack of business engagement – most Agile adoptions are driven by the IT organisation and leave business and operations behind
• Program execution – at a team level, Agile works well, however, when large programmes of execution are required, how do we manage the delivery
• Team delivery – Ensuring that the team delivering the value is provided with the necessary constraints, conditions and purpose
• Lack of systems thinking – extending agility to all the supporting functions in the organisation (e.g.) Finance, Procurement, Facilities, Human resources etc
• Lack of people Change management – the biggest challenge typically is that Agile adoptions are mandated from executives to deliver the promise of Agile, however, leaders underestimate the impact that it has on the people
As a result of these assumptions, we conducted the first Agile Index South Africa which was to validate these observations through a quantitative survey as well as interviews with key leaders in these organisations based on their experiences.
The talk is aimed leaders and individuals that are currently on or starting an Agile adoption by discussing each of these challenges identified and validated (or NOT) through the research as well as providing some options in addressing these challenges.
Note: the research is ongoing at present and therefore, the challenges identified above may change