Part 5: The Help - Know Who Your Friends Are

As an executive, you are entrusted with the stewardship of the company's internal investments. Are you getting the most for your money? Can Agile help achieve your business goals? In the final part of this series we discuss an approach to tie all the pieces together around how the people in your organization think about money, time and work.

Every successful executive has one or more trusted advisors. These are the people who ferret through the details, observe the changing environment, and become your "eyes and ears on the ground". There is a dichotomy in the current industry metrics around the success of Agile Transformations - Agile does not fully realize the intended benefits without executive support, but the executives themselves have a much broader set of responsibilities and concerns that leaves little time for leading a Transformation. Therefore you need someone you trust that has deep knowledge and experience, can assess the situation, provide sound counsel on possible actions, and deliver open and honest feedback that you can action.

A trusted advisor provides an efficient and effective form of executive learning, which optimizes the use of your time. They also function as a guide on your journey through the early stages until you achieve mastery. At some point you will be able to lead and sustain the continued evolution of your organization on that Agile journey with your own internal team. It is a worthy investment when comparing it to the ROI improvements the organization will realize over time.

A word of caution though - be wary of those that have a business model that incents them to sell you something other than expert advice, such as a single software solution, or nothing but training/certifications, as those scenarios inherently diminish their capacity to assess things holistically and work towards making you the most successful you can be. Software and training may end up being necessary components of your Agile Transformation, but none of them are a one-size-fits-all silver bullet. You know you have your own dynamics that require an approach that is tailored to your people, your customers and your business. Make sure you get the right help to accelerate and maximize your intended outcomes.

An Agile Transformation may or may not be on your radar, but if any of the common pain points highlighted in this series ring true in your organization you may consider taking a new approach to addressing them rather than "what we've always done". If you change what you believe, you change what you do.

Until next time… Stay Agile, My Friends.