Essential Building Blocks of an Agile Organization 

One of the key components of developing an agile organization is the formation of cross-functional, self-organizing Teams. 

Both things demand a lot of focus and work. These also don’t occur spontaneously, especially in organizations managed and structured in the manner of the Industrial Age. 

These are recognized by Scrum as being critical components and the Scrum Master role is one of them. The role of the scrum master is to increase cross-functionality within the team and assist the team and organization in achieving Self Organization. 

In fact, the Scrum Guide lists it as the Scrum Master’s first duty to the Development Team. 

The Scrum Team was created to not have any organizational authority or power by any of its members since the presence of organizational power and authority dramatically reduces the possibility for self-organization. 

The Scrum Master agrees to support the team’s agenda and has no organizational or legal authority of their own. 

One of the main goals of the Scrum Master job would be defeated by any Scrum Master who does not openly cede authority and power and who does not pledge to serve the team’s agenda. 

As the organization won’t fully experience the expected benefits of embracing Scrum, such a circumstance is not Scrum. A learning organization is one that practices agility. The Scrum Master assists the teams with knowledge creation, transfer, and sharing as well as periodic inspection and modification. 

10 building Blocks of Organizational Agility 

  1. Create an actionable vision and strategy, and empower people to achieve them 
  1. Create a regular cadence for decision-making at different time spans, and make the decisions transparent 
  1. Always state the “why” of backlog items, from the customer’s perspective 
  1. Commit to the most important goals, not timelines 
  1. Work in the smallest valuable batches and ensure there is feedback on completed work at every level of product creation. 
  1. Empower the teams to deliver value to customers 
  1. Enable a continuous dialogue about the product’s customer and value throughout the organization 
  1. Create data from the realized output of items and use the historical data stubbornly for planning. 
  1. Recognize and respect both your internal capabilities and external boundaries, but challenge them regularly 
  1. Commit to consistently making small improvements at every level. Aim to optimize and simplify. 

Agile has evolved from a trend to a way of life for many software development and consulting firms since its launch in 2001. Two-thirds of IT workers claim that their organization is either fully agile or leaning towards agility, according to a 2015 Hewlett-Packard survey. 

All three aspects of your workflow must alter to transition to agile: people, processes, and tools.

Follow the six building blocks listed below if you’re interested in implementing an agile transformation inside your own organization. 


1. Prepare for Unexpected Changes or Roadblocks 

It’s rarely as easy to transform a workplace into an agile one as you might think from the glossy promotional brochures. Agile necessitates a complete shift in workflow and philosophy. It may take months or years for new procedures and technology to truly take hold as a long-term project. 


2. Deliver Meaningful Value Through Short Cycles 

Agile places a greater emphasis on brief, iterative development bursts than the conventional waterfall methodology does. This method has the advantages of releasing features as soon as they are created, concentrating primarily on the current problems that are the most pressing, and getting input sooner in the process.  

3. Support the Culture Change Needed to Maximize Agile Transformation 

Being agile is a process that takes time and cannot be completed quickly. You’ll need complete buy-in from key stakeholders to enable this cultural transformation because the agile movement requires you to commit to changing how everyone in your organization does their work.  

4. Understand How Agile Methodology Breaks from Traditional Methods of Workflow 

Understanding the methodology, you’re leaving behind is a prerequisite for switching to an agile one. Without considering why things are done in a certain way or whether there are other, more effective methods, far too many organizations defend their conventional development processes by stating that they are “what has always been done.”  

5. Reorganize Workflow Structure to Enhance Information Flow and Eliminate Data Silos 

Data silos are the enemy of agile because they obstruct cooperation and create artificial boundaries. Eliminating these silos will increase the flexibility of your company, the accessibility of your data, and the knowledge of your personnel. The agile methodology’s trademark of cross-functional teams is a great way to do away with silos. 

6. Establish a Self-Sufficient Agile Culture within an Organization 

Self-organizing teams are another fundamental concept in agile, allowing team members to decide for themselves how to complete their work rather than taking direction. The end goal of your move to agile should be a fully self-sufficient workforce with well-defined processes that can quickly respond to changes. 

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