Everybody is bording the agile train – it seems. But what does this new way of working and leading really offer? And how can established companies transition from silo-departments to flexible agile team structures?
Although agile work models are at the core of digital transformation, I find that there is a space very little explored today: what being agile feels like in real life. From my own experience as a CPO for a Corporate Startup in the automotive industry, I know that, in a framework that declares »People over Process«, the critical success factor is how people live agile. I wanted to know: What does this people-centric approach demand from people individually, in groups or teams, and organizations as a whole? What was their journey?
This study is based on 60-minute 1-on-1 interviews with agile practitioners from various industries such as Advertising, Automotive, Business & Consumer Services, FinTech, Internet, Manufacturing, Mobility, Music, Publishing, Software, Technology, Travel. To get different perspectives, I spoke to agile professionals with distinct roles within an organization (people with a tech or business role, ranging from expert to manager to C-level, as well as agile coaches). In total, I have interviewed 100 people, i. e. five employees of 20 companies. This large number of interviews made it possible to identify common challenges, patterns, pitfalls, and success factors.
The findings of this research were captured in a condensed report which was provided to each partnering organization that supported this project through their employees participating in interviews and will be the basis for further publications. The report contains cross-company insights that shed light on common patterns, challenges, and best practices in agile organizations. Beyond that, each partnering organization was offered observations specific to their company in a personal debriefing call. These company-specific observations are confidential and not disclosed to anyone outside the respective organization.
The report presents key findings on three levels: