In a world of constant change, it’s vital for your business to be able to quickly react to changes and innovate for your competitive advantage. Agile ensures your organization can achieve this and deliver with greater speed, quality, and reliability.
If your organization is struggling to embrace agility and implement the cultural shift, engaging with agile consultants can help propel your Agile transformation and ensure you continue to reap the benefits of Agile far into the future.
Everything you need to know about Agile consultants:
- What is Agile?
- What Does an Agile Consultant Do?
- Responsibilities & Services of Agile Consultants
- When Should You Hire an Agile Consultant?
- 7 Ways Agile Consultants Can Help Your Business
- Types of Projects Agile Consultants Work On, With Examples
What is Agile project management?
Agile is a project delivery framework typically used in software development that stresses frequent delivery of “working software” through an iterative looping process of 1-4 week increments called “sprints” or “iterations.”
Agile emphasizes collaboration and transparency, meaning that development teams and stakeholders work closely together so that everyone knows how the project is progressing and can collaborate quickly on changing needs.
Agile is especially applicable for big, complex projects with unclear outcomes that are subject to rapid change as new needs are discovered.
What are the values of Agile?
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
What Does an Agile Consultant Do?
Agile consultants help organizations drive their agile journey forward by applying agile frameworks and leveraging deep expertise to help teams drive lasting agile capability growth, manage changing priorities, and improve delivery predictability and quality.
They achieve this by first assessing business processes and identifying elements that are leading to frustration. Agile consultants then provide training, coaching, and support to instill agile capabilities across your organization.
They meet teams where they are on their journey to adapt existing methods while introducing best practices for the current state of their organization, the market, and stakeholders.
Responsibilities & Services of Agile Consultants:
- Leveraging approaches and methods based on the science of memory retention
- Applying and executing agile frameworks in a custom-fit solution tailored to an organization’s needs
- Developing and establishing a prioritized process backlog and roadmap
- Conducting interviews to identify problems and bottlenecks within current processes
- Using their expertise to ensure collaboration and communication between different teams and departments
- Adapting swiftly and efficiently to change and feedback throughout each development cycle
- Providing coaching, leadership, and knowledge-sharing
- Solid understanding of Agile principles, Lean thinking, Kanban, and SDLC
When Should You Hire an Agile Consultant?
If your team is seeking greater efficiency to deliver true value better, faster, and more affordably, adopting Agile is extremely beneficial.
Because Agile consultants bring extensive experience across a variety of projects, frameworks, and industries, they are well-versed in fueling this adoption.
Their expertise is reinforced through relevant certifications in software and processes, in addition to knowledge of best practices and experience training and coaching teams in Agile adoption.
Agile consultants can also be helpful when your team is struggling to gain a full perspective of what is working in your processes and what is not. Because consultants bring an expert external perspective, they can help to swiftly identify and target gaps and problems that may have gone unnoticed by those within the process.
7 Ways Agile Consultants Can Help Your Business
- Instilling Agile expertise and capabilities across your teams and entire organization
- Identifying and overcoming barriers that traditionally derail Agile efforts
- Ensuring your organization can react to changes quickly and deliver with predictability and quality
- Delivering greater customer value faster, improving customer satisfaction
- Improving employee engagement, team morale and employee satisfaction
- Greater visibility, transparency, trust, and collaboration within teams
- Increasing revenue as a direct result of employee engagement and operational performance
Types of Projects Agile Consultants Work On, With Examples
Agile consultants work on a wide variety of projects across numerous industries. As an example of these projects, let’s look at one of AIM Consulting’s previous experiences. For a more detailed look, see our Enterprise Agility case study.
Example of Agile Consulting Project:
A transportation and wireless communication company was struggling to define and operationalize processes and best practices that drive prioritization and execution of projects in its engineering organization.
Because the organization lacked mature program and project leadership practices, there were difficulties in making project decisions and meeting program objectives which ultimately led to project delays, stalls, and unrealized value. Communication and trust plummeted.
Two of AIM’s Enterprise Agility consultants worked closely with the business leaders to assess weaknesses, determine steps for improvement, and drive the organization to adopt the changes necessary to succeed.
The project involved the following phases:
- Assessment: The consultants conducted assessments of engineering-related business processes, Scrum ceremonies, and various elements that fed frustration and angst on the engineering side.
- Improve and Implement: The consultants presented training courses to every engineering team to improve agile and SAFe planning, produced a new SharePoint site, built training to run SAFe more effectively, and introduced a new internal accounting process, finance codes, and financial forecasting process for the business.
- Change Management: The consultants an assessment to management of how its decisions, behavior, and communication style were perceived by scrum teams, and how to improve it. AIM built this information into its training at all levels and led a full engineering-wide team meeting to share this feedback.
- Management Consulting: The consultants delivered management coaching to scrum and program leaders to encourage them to drive improvement continually.
The trust that the agile consultants built between management and employees gave leadership far greater confidence that engineering will deliver projects on time. Delivery reliability improved by 1,500 basis points accordingly, with sprint teams no longer locking program increment commitments for long periods.