Why to be Agile in Digital Transformation?



Digital transformation is about changing existing business processes and models to sustain in the ever-growing modern digital world. However, to survive, businesses today must be capable of catering to the changing needs of the customers and undergoing a digital transformation.

Business leaders must consistently and continuously drive their business to keep up with the latest innovations and technologies. In addition, companies should quickly adapt to the changing market scenario and modify business processes according to the current needs. The answer lies in being agile in digital transformation.

Being Agile in Digital Transformation

Agile transformation strategies aim to enable and execute delivery functions across the entire enterprise to embrace the perfect combination of lean practices and principles. Therefore, it fosters collaboration and accelerates engagement.

Scrum is one of the most crucial components of the Agile development methodology. It is a structured and robust framework for continuous delivery. Moreover, using scrum, a team can learn how something works, test it out, analyze the experience, and adjust accordingly.

On the other hand, digital transformation involves adopting cutting-edge technologies to achieve a competitive edge in the industry. Therefore, an in-depth understanding of the needs and wishes of modern customers is necessary to modify the overall business model. The technologies that define digital business transformation include AI, data analytics, connected supply chains, digital security, customer-centric vision, cloud services, IoT, customer data platforms, and so on.

So, while digital transformation embraces avant-garde technologies, Agile transformation is about introducing the enhanced process to use the technology. When it is a question of driving the growth and success of your organization, both digital transformation, and Agile methodology play a key role.

The danger of not taking an Agile approach

What do you do when the business model changes in the middle of your ambitious digital transformation efforts?

The answer lies in learning how to adapt to the conviction that change is the only constant and it will lead to the desired results. Moreover, it requires implementing a series of experiments and taking the risk of failing while absorbing the learnings.

If businesses only focus on achieving goals and never failing, the learnings will be based on false facts. Once companies build momentum behind projects based on inaccurate facts, digital transformation initiatives move forward on incorrect learnings and flawed foundations.

Businesses cannot build digital transformation initiatives on a foundation of misrepresentations and lies. The resultant employee and customer experiences will be undesirable.

Adopting an Agile approach is the only way to overcome such challenges and base digital transformation on verified facts and learnings. Companies need to constantly evolve and grow according to the changing times and needs to embrace a digital mindset.

Advantages of Agile approach to digital transformation

1. Flexibility

Agile is about flexibility. Any new business initiative is typically specced out with detailed specifications and little room for change. The Agile process, on the other hand, expects and accepts change. Suppose a different approach or solution promises to provide better results for a particular obstacle. Then, as per agile, you should test out the new method and switch.

2. Cost control

A team knows how much work it can accomplish within a sprint; and how much each sprint costs when the sprint length remains the same throughout a project. It is also possible to make budget refinements regularly and implement changes without incurring significant expenses.

3. Continuous improvement

Agile teams are continuously collaborating, learning, and adjusting through regular reviews and reiterations. Furthermore, they’re always trying to improve and find out what works well. This gives everyone on the team time to expand their learnings and knowledge.

4. Risk reduction

The chances of future failures are eliminated thanks to an Agile approach to digital transformation. Constant communication, daily updates, collaborative feedback, and regular testing at the end of each sprint ensure that every issue is addressed and resolved early.

5. Better engagement

Successful digital transformation cannot be achieved with one team. The IT, business, and design units need to work together and have a clear vision of the challenges to be resolved. Furthermore, Agile encourages constant collaboration, regular communication, continuous stakeholder management, and feedback sessions. All of these are critical to success.

6. Transparency

Thanks to regular updates, communication, and collaboration between various Agile teams, higher transparency and visibility exist. In addition, daily progress charts and updates offer tangible and concrete ways to manage expectations and track progress.

Why be Agile in digital transformation?

Digital transformation means bringing in a fundamental change in the way organizations operate. It facilitates the creation of a company with technology at its core.

Agile offers an excellent framework for two reasons –

i. Agile offers a framework that enables quick iterations based on customer feedback. Additionally, it allows companies to release software at a faster pace but in smaller iterations. It helps businesses move fast and quickly adapt to the likes and dislikes of the customers and provide powerful digital experiences.

ii. Agile framework encourages a broader cultural shift across the organization. By adopting the Agile methodology, companies emphasize transparency, empowerment, and accountability. It is an essential change from how traditional companies work.

5 core principles of Agile digital transformation

i. Transformative vision

Technology is constantly evolving, and a part of adopting a digital mindset is to always be ready to identify the next-generation technology. A transformative vision helps make real-time adjustments to boost the outcome.

ii. Digital customer engagement

Digital transformations are centered on building customer intimacy that drives engagement. Unlike marketing initiatives, digital technology is focused on front-end customer experience.

iii. Secure digital platforms

The hottest USP in the digital world is security. Securing data and assets should be paramount to all organizations working on digital transformation. Additionally, secure digital platforms should support digital growth and innovation.

iv. Data-driven visualization

It is essential for progressive digital enterprises to collect data. But, they also must visualize the data and generate insights that need action. Addressing and understanding micro-segments and customer personas are vital to unlocking real-time data intelligence.

v. Embracing digital agility

The constantly changing customer and market conditions are obstacles business leaders face when they want to execute expansive projects. Usually, by the time a project is complete, the customer and market requirements have changed. With the Agile framework, it becomes easy to avoid such pitfalls. 

Integrating UX and Agile teams

The new digital landscape has made a significant impact on the conventional delivery models. Most companies have embraced DevOps and Agile models to help the development and operations teams deliver with efficiency and speed. However, due to the increased focus on design thinking and digital, organizations are being pushed to new ways to integrate user experience with Agile delivery teams.

Companies are increasingly educating UI UX designers on Agile design principles and ensuring that Agile teams integrate design principles so that exceptional customer service can be delivered.

The only way to survive the strife market competition is by businesses staying prepared to accept and implement change. Thus, agile methodology in digital business transformation seems the appropriate first step to help enterprises accomplish their goals.

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