As time progresses, Agile approaches to project management are becoming increasingly popular. It is important to keep in mind that with any new change or development, there are obstacles you should be prepared to overcome. There are a few hurdles you can expect to face when adopting Agile methodologies.[i]
- Lack of Agile Acceptance
Although you may be prepared for Agile, your boss and coworkers might not be. Getting buy-in from your coworkers, sponsors, and executives is a crucial piece of Agile development. One of the most integral requirements for Agile to be successful is culture change. In any organization, leaders typically set the tone and determine the culture of the organization. The behavior of a leader tends to trickle down throughout the organization. For this reason, getting buy-in from leaders is a great first step to getting everyone on board with Agile.[ii]
- Insufficient Agile experience and knowledge
Although Agile itself is becoming more popular each day, finding expert talent in Agile is a huge challenge. Having Agile experts throughout your adoption of Agile methodology can help mitigate risk and help your organization get the most benefit out of Agile. Without the appropriate knowledge on a specific topic, an organization does not have the ability to properly execute an Agile project.
- Changing The Traditional Office Environment
One of the largest challenges in transitioning to Agile is changing the office environment. Traditional corporate offices typically have cubicles with high walls and are typically laid out in a closed off fashion. More and more organizations are making the switch to an open floorplan to promote collaboration and communication among team members. An Agile approach works best when members of a team can openly interact and collaborate with one another. In an office where teams are separated and closed off, an organization will struggle to truly embrace Agile.[iii]
Overcoming Organizational Hurdles of Adopting Agile
The number one way to overcome the challenges you will face throughout your adoption of Agile is through training. Often, any reservations that people may have about a topic or idea comes from fear. Adopting a new idea or way of managing projects can be scary and people may be anxious about the unknown. Through training you are able to answer the questions that people may not want to ask.
If you are struggling with getting buy-in from team members, train them on the organizational benefits of Agile and how it can help improve efficiency in their work flow. If you are faced with the lack of Agile experts within your organization, find external experts and have them train your employees to become experts. If your organization is a closed off, stuffy space, change it up so that you can reap the benefits of fully embracing Agile.