The idea itself seems quite simple: develop new, agile organizational structures in the company based on agile project management.
Nonetheless, we observe widely that the classic approach to organizational development still prevails over Scrum-based agile methods in this area. New structures are usually defined through in a combination of benchmarks and internal development workshops, and processes are designed based on these. Subsequently, focusing on the IT systems currently in use ensures a good fit with the new organization.
In the world of agile organizations, however, the days of the usual triad of structures/processes/systems are over. Modern approaches require the close interplay between autonomous teams, agile methodologies, delivery models and target toolsets. Seamless interaction between internal units and external service providers is of enormous importance. To ensure a successful transformation, agile areas must also be well embedded in often not-so-agile overall company structures.
The solution is obvious: develop agile organizations in an agile way. We have designed a proprietary approach to support such transformation. Starting from the minimum viable product (MVP) of a single agile team, all elements of a functioning unit are defined step by step and building on each other. The interdisciplinary project team works in workshop sequences, from scaling the initial MVPs to achieving a functioning overall organization.
Based on our work with our clients, it is evident that particularly the agile bottom-up approach is critical here: from the bottom up, the perspective of a single, tangible team is repeatedly expanded until all relevant dimensions are considered. In contrast to classic, top-down-driven organizational development, this ensures that even in the VUCA world of agile teams, all central questions are answered and anchored in the culture of the companies.
Our conclusion is that agile organizational forms are growing increasingly important, especially at the interface between business and IT organizations. The pioneering work of developing them can best be accomplished in a bottom-up, agile approach. It is therefore management’s job to empower employees and executives to master agile methods and processes and apply them in practice.
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