Agile Transformation (capital A and T) and agile transformation. Same words, vastly different concepts. An “Agile Transformation” is a cookie-cutter product that anyone can buy off the shelf. It comes with manuals, guides, predefined role descriptions, and everything else you need to get your organization looking and sounding like an Agile organization. Plug and play! Some call it the starting point and some call it all you’ll need, because it’s better than whatever you have today, right? “Agile Transformations” are a tool on the tactical level, and, while there’s certainly some value in them, I believe there’s more value in lowercase a and t agile transformations.
agile transformation is a shift in how people think and behave.
It includes re-evaluating and redefining how we relate to customers, people, work, value, and processes. It (often) includes shifting the approach to leadership, management, and product development. Its primary focus is building up an organizational capability of continuous evolution and adaptation. After an agile transformation, organizations walk away with a sustained force that enables teams to create outcomes customers love. agile transformations are so much more powerful than Agile Transformations because they operate on a strategic, structural, and principles level.
“the best thing to happen since sliced bread”
From 2017 to 2019, I helped Avanza take on the challenge of agile transformation. Though there were some rough patches, we managed to successfully execute one of the most effective and long-lasting agile transformations I’ve ever been a part of or seen. Avanza’s CEO Rikard Josefson went so far as to call their agile transformation "the best thing to happen since sliced bread".
Some of the success came from the culture and mentality at Avanza, a culture of empathy, teamwork, and “we” over “me”. Having that culture from the outset certainly helped. But there are other things you can do to help your organization successfully execute its own transformation, no matter what its current state or current challenges may be.
Get a free copy of my case study
Over the past year, I’ve been writing down and refining the story of my experience at Avanza along with my top tips for how to successfully execute agile transformation, no matter what your organization’s current state or challenges may be. It turned out I had a lot to say (68 pages’ worth, to be exact). Rather than creating a series of blog post, I’ve decided to put everything together as an ebook—and I’m giving it away for free.