“Agile fine tuning”: the new challenge of digital transformation

18 June, 2021 | reading 4 min.

Afinando la Agilidad -Webinar de LedaMC Academy

Last June 2nd took place the interactive event conducted by one of the experts in the definition, implementation and operation of LedaMC’s Efficiency and Quality models for software development, Alfonso Gonzalez. We say conducted because “Tuning the Agility” is what the event was all about. It explained the keys that must be taken into account to obtain a continuous improvement of the efficiency in the transformation to agility of the companies.

How much does user satisfaction cost?

The speaker starts from a devastating fact that gives an idea of the importance of “tuning”, because according to his extensive experience, it has been proven that, in agile environments, the cost of the product is between 15% and 20% more expensive than in traditional environments.

But is that all that matters? How much does user satisfaction cost?

Based on the axiom that Agile transformation is a must, both the value delivered to the business and the adaptation to change will acquire special relevance in a world in which social networks, online commerce and teleworking, among others, are the great composers of the digital symphony we are living. Now, understanding value as a delivered product, do we know how much value we are generating? Do we know how much value our development teams help us generate? Is it a lot or a little? At what cost? And in terms of adapting to change, do we know if we are being “just flexible” or “efficiently flexible”?

A sustainable agility transformation

In order to give these answers, the main lines on which a manager must focus in order to lead a company’s transformation to agility were explained:

1- Strategy: Not only should you understand the context of your organization, where you are, what needs you have, what deadlines you have set to reach a certain objective… In short, you should understand and internalize your strategy because, let’s keep in mind, transformation serves the strategy and not the other way around.
2- Governance: Governing as a synonym for leading, defining the goals that serve the strategy and quantifying these goals with the right measures in the right way, checking their path, keeping the associated costs in balance, detecting weaknesses… in other words, an integrating governance of the transformation.
3- Process: It is time to see if theory and practice go hand in hand, how the transformation is being executed, with what working model… Do you have the who, when and how? Can you extract homogeneous information from the decentralization of your teams? It is, after all, verifying the development process in its whole extension, from the composition of a team to the mining of your data.
4- Metrics:This is how you are composing your melody and whether the composed songs are missing any notes. Let’s direct the metrics to the governance of the strategy, but in a meaningful way, from a reliable, complete and, above all, homogeneous source.
5- Teams: These are the pillars of value delivery, the ones that articulate what I want into realities, transform our desires in the form of requirements (user stories, epics, etc.) into value… into product.

It is essential to give the equipment the importance it deserves, however…

“…only 17% of teams are high performing…. and it takes them six to eight months to become an effective team.”

Susan Wheelan,
Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Training and Development at Temple University.

Based on his extensive experience helping in the transformation to agility, Alfonso Gonzalez has been able to verify that the data is quite close to reality and clarifies that “we can be more generous and raise to 23% the high performance teams, considering high performance as high productivity, high level of responsibility, high flexibility and trust among its members”. But it still seems unbelievable that not even one in four reaches levels of excellence, and even more surprising is how it takes more than half a year for a team itself to become effective and deliver acceptable levels of performance.
“Teams are the asset of companies, are the instrument that provides value in the form of product for the customer, that is why we must help them. We must contextualize and measure their problems and thus show room for improvement that will make them increasingly more efficient,” says the speaker.

But efficiency is not the only thing that matters.

Quality, stability, cadence, commitment or responsibility are equally important factors.

In every agile initiative, some needs arise that we set as objectives:
-Transparency on team activities. It is essential to improve the visibility of equipment so that I know where I am spending my money.
Objetivity through standard metrics as a performance driver. It is necessary to use a standardization of the result and enable and provide comparatives as a leverage for improvement, with the market and with oneself.
Flexibilility: Continuous adaptation to requirements that arise along the process is essential.
Satisfaction: We must have quantified evidence based on standard metrics oriented to my objectives so that decision making is based on evidence.
Savings through product approach: We must contribute and, as far as possible, guarantee savings and optimize the development value chain. We will have to encourage selective action on prospects that are a burden on my production process.

Only a 360-degree view of your developments is what will ultimately determine the profitability and effectiveness of your transformation to agility. We know that the cost of the product is between 15% and 20% more expensive than in traditional environments, but if we know where the investment is being concentrated and we understand that price is not the only thing that matters, we can get much closer to the cost associated with user satisfaction keep improvement of the efficiency in the transformation to agility of the companies..