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Often in an agile transformation, people believe that new IT systems will somewhen arrive as a message in a bottle. They underestimate the leverage effect of these systems.

Why Agile Transformations Fail — Reason #2

This article is part of a 13-piece blog series published by Verena Zoehrer, innovation consultant at viable — innovation consulting and rapid prototyping.

  • “Yes, just back to transparent working. We use WebProof for transparency and for fast communication we use Slack, which is very important for us internally. It is wonderfully informal, to the point and everyone who needs to know is informed immediately, it is one of the most important tools for synchronization in the team and communication.”
  • “Especially if it’s a team that doesn’t always work at the same place IT tools surely play a big role.“
  • “We introduced Slack, for example, and someone took care of it in a great way from end to end. As a result: the management communicated from day 1 to day 2 via Slack. That means it was clear I don’t need to look into my e-mails anymore because the others are all in the same tool. This is a huge advantage. It was also explained how this tool works. There was the possibility to do a training. (…) This introduction has worked because somebody thought about how we can do this and then he observed the channels for a while and actively moderated and helped to create useful things.”
  • “We have used Atlassian Jira and Confluence and this whole tool case since the beginning, and they support agile work of course. So this making transparent what you’re doing, having clear priorities, somehow having a central place where you can look things up. That’s an important thing now when it comes to tools for agile working. But not only in agile working, also in the agile development. In terms of communication, we switched to Slack at some point in the process, why? Because e-mail is very bad for communication where you want to discuss something or vote. E-mail is good for saying something, so that’s a certain issue now, while Slack is good for having discussions around a project or something. This was very important at the early steps. Second is that what goes along with being agile is also that you collaboratively work together on things. That’s where we actually used Jira, where we work together on a project.”
  • “I think IT tools are extremely important because they allow a different kind of collaboration. But the frame must be given. For example transparency: I can somehow make documents public and work on them together, and that will work great if this value of transparency is anchored in the company. But if I know that knowledge is power I can have any IT tools that allow transparency, this is only implemented to a certain extent, because the attitude behind is different.”
  • “Yes, definitely (they support the transformation). Scaling up was very difficult at the beginning because we had no tools.“
  • “Being agile means that you have to change fast, and if you have to change fast and you don’t have the infrastructure like architecture, applications, how they connect, how things work together, if you cannot change that fast then the whole thing get stuck there. This is on infrastructure level. The second area of IT is enabling communication. Having tools where you can work in distributed teams, where you can easily communicate changes to the whole bank, you don ́t need to bring 50,000 people together in one place but you can have a Teams channel or an intranet, or can make a broadcast where everybody can dial in and listen. So it is important for enabling communication.“
  • “We also included things like Wikipages where everybody has access, because we want to make it more transparent, reducing the barriers and knowledge silos. It is crucial to have this support from IT.”

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