Agile transformations are difficult. It takes a while for a transformation to be successful, and most of the time, people give up hope at the first sight of failure. Though it may not be as simple as mentioned below, the following five insights may help the team to not lose hope.
1. Test the waters before you jump: There are many agile methodologies. Scrum, Extreme Programming, Lean, Test Driven Development and Kan-ban to name a few. Understand what is best suited for your project. Understand your company structure, culture and processes and find out if an agile methodology suits the kind of work you do. Not every project can be transitioned from waterfall to agile. So be agile in getting the basics right and investigating. One of the most important things that people do wrong is assume that quality and coding does not matter and people release features with shoddy code insufficient tests.
2. After the storm comes the calm: Once you figure out which agile methodology you are going to follow, do a bit of introspection. A lot depends on how your bosses your team feel about the change. Expect resistance and plan for it. First change the mindsets and then change the process. Training helps, so train.
3. Be a monk: Give away your worldly perceptions of power and authority. Be ready to serve the team for the greater good of the product. The 'servant leader' concept does tend to create a feeling of panic. But get over it and you will only find happiness.
4. Going agile does not a magician make: Following an agile methodology does not give you magical powers. So don't expect things to change unless you follow the technique. Most of the time, the teams find it difficult go let go of old habits and hierarchies. For an agile methodology to work, you absolutely must stick to its rules.
5. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Your first attempt in any agile methodology will fail. There is not doubt about it. But persist and persist for 3 or 4 more iterations/sprints and you definitely find your pot of gold.
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