The Importance of Starting Agile with Systems Thinking: Achieving True Organizational Change

Leading Through Structure: A Fresh Take on Agile Project Management

In the realm of Agile project management, the common inclination is to prioritize practices first. This is because practices are easy to teach and do not necessitate significant organizational changes. However, in large-scale companies, a ‘practices first’ approach often falls short of expectations.

This article challenges this consensus and advocates for a shift in perspective, viewing Agile through the lens of systems to stimulate organizational change.

Agile Practices vs Agile Mindset

The argument proposed suggests that focusing solely on Agile practices or mindset is unproductive. These aspects will inevitably clash with the organization’s structural components, including its structure, governance, and measurement methods.

Instead of starting with practices and cultures and attempting to adapt structural elements to them, the emphasis should be on the structural elements. This involves breaking larger issues into smaller, manageable ones, reducing batch size, breaking dependencies, and enhancing local autonomy.

This approach provides the fundamental foundation for digital transformation, the composable enterprise, product-driven organization, and a project to product type infrastructure.

Challenging Conventional Wisdom

The conventional idea of implementing practices first, while widely accepted, may not be the most effective. This article challenges this notion, arguing that structure and governance should take precedence. The concern is that a ‘systems first’ approach could lead to an over-engineered, inflexible environment, but the counter-argument is this rigidity is necessary in the early stages to demonstrate the ability to make and meet commitments.

Organization: Monoliths to Modular

Most organizations, particularly large-scale ones, operate as monoliths. The key to transformation lies in breaking up these monoliths into smaller, more manageable services or products. By doing so, small groups can focus on specific business problems and make independent decisions, responding at the speed of the market.

The Power of Structure

Starting with structure and understanding what you want to encapsulate can create more fluidity in the organization. This allows for the redirection of resources to new opportunities as they arise. This approach is beneficial for both Agile practices and broader digital transformation, including cloud migration and other digital strategies.

Project Management with Qamodo

In conclusion, the structure-first approach advocated in this article aligns well with the project management tools provided by Qamodo. Our platform facilitates the breaking