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Dong-A Business Review

Darrell Rigby’s ‘Agile Scale up’ Methodology

  • October 16, 2018
  • min read

Dong-A Business Review

Darrell Rigby’s ‘Agile Scale up’ Methodology

As Agile strategy is gaining more attention, a growing number of companies organized Agile Innovation Team. Especially, companies that achieved successful results with operation of Agile team are poised to roll out across the enterprise. However, even if you make success, by turning a small unit agile, that does not mean you can get the same results, applying the same approach across the entire organization. It is important the leader of the organization to distinguish units where Agile could be most useful from the rest, and also develop appropriate performance assessment and incentive scheme to ensure for new Agile unit not to experience administrative issues or lack of cooperation from operation and innovation teams. Also, additional changes are required to make sure that the non-Agile parts of the company provide full cooperation for Agile teams.

As Agile Innovation became popular across the world, many companies adopted the approach to actual business practices. Recently, several Korean companies also established new Agile teams or invited Agile coaches to change the way of doing business. Especially for global innovation companies that have been growing rapidly in recent years and traditional companies, struggling hard against start-ups, the idea of turning the organization more agile and flexible seems very attractive. This is because, applying the right Agile strategy to companies, you can get so many benefits, including improvement of team profitability, stronger employee motivation, reduction in go-to-market time and quality improvement, compared to traditional way of business.

However, just like any other management method, Agile cannot be a cure for all. There have been many cases where adoption of Agile ended up in failure or excessive pressure to adopt Agile in organizations sometimes invited fierce resistance. Reckless attempt to introduce Agile in manufacturing or service business may not be the right choice, as these industries are much different from software business, the best fit for Agile.  Even within the same company, introducing Agile and making a success in one unit does not guarantee the same results in rolling out the strategy across the enterprise. For Agile method, Agile Scale Up is as important as the decision on where and how to introduce the method.

Which units in a company should be transformed into Agile team and which units should be excluded? How to build and operate performance accessing and incentive schemes between Agile and non-Agile units? How to handle the disharmony and administrative issues in the process of creating multiple Agile teams? To get the answers to these questions, Donga Business Review had an e-mail interview with Darrell Rigby, a partner of Bain & Company. He is Agile expert and scrum master and wrote an article “Agile at Scale- How to go from a few team to hundreds” for Harvard Business Review. He will join ‘Donga Business Forum 2018’ as a guest lecturer to be held in Seoul in coming December.

In conclusion, not all companies need to make their business units Agile. Agile may not be well suited to some companies or business divisions. However, once you begin to form Agile team, continuous efforts are required to make the entire organization to be agile in the long-term. Without these efforts, new Agile team may not function well, trapped in administrative procedures or lack of cooperation from operation or innovation teams. Thus, it is essential to make changes to ensure non-Agile teams to provide full cooperation to support Agile team to the full, explained Darrell Rigby. 

For full version in Korean view here.