Blog Header Agile Transformation
November 22, 2017

1 Reason Why Agile Transformation Stalls: Resource Optimization


If your organization is attempting Agile transformation, ask yourself this: When planning your next iteration or release, what are you focusing on first; making sure that everyone has something to do or finishing your most important deliverable? In a truly Agile team, delivering value to the customer is the main driver.

Most organizations today realize the need to improve processes, become more efficient, and deliver value faster. In many industries, this means a shift toward Agile practices that promise faster delivery and high quality — all with the same amount of resources.

Some organizations have been extremely successful in their Agile transformation (and have the business success to prove it). Others struggle. And even though they invest much time and money in their Agile transformation, they just don’t quite succeed.


From Resource Optimization to Value Delivery

There are many reasons why some organizations fail while others succeed. But one critical component is to shift your focus from resource optimization to value delivery.

Some organizations focus on individuals having work to do (whatever the work is). They tailor workflows and processes to ensure each department is constantly busy. Though all their resources are technically utilized, these organizations often end up stifling innovation. Everyone is always busy on their individual tasks, leaving little time to improve processes or share knowledge.

To solve this problem, a change of mentality is needed at the management level. Management must realize that true value arrives not by ensuring business, but by making sure the team is working together to maximize the value delivered to the customer.


3 Processes to Eliminate for Faster Agile Transformation

What does this look like at a more concrete level? To accelerate Agile transformation, organizations should reconsider the following practices:

  • Moving people between teams to ensure maximum resource usage. This prevents team stability, trust formation, and innovation.
  • Focusing on time spent instead of work remaining. Time spent is less important to the team focused on value delivery. Work remaining tells you when the customer can expect value to be delivered.
  • Making employees report progress at short intervals, instead of leaving the team to finish work. When a team reports at the middle of a iteration, it can lead to their focusing on finishing work that makes the report look good. Instead, they should be focused on the deliverable needed at the end of the iteration.

Bringing It All Together

Agile transformation is not easy! But organizations that do what they can to eliminate the three problems outlined above will make huge strides toward successful Agile transformation.

At Helix Plan (formerly Hansoft), we try to make it easy to set up areas for each team, where they are free to iterate over their process and become as efficient as possible. The iteration burndown (see below image) provides the option to look at user story completion, making it easier for the team and management to understand when a deliverable has been completed.

Using these simple tools can greatly help a team focus more on delivering value together, and less on individual workloads.

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