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Fabian Delava: Agile at Scale

Bain Partner Fabian Delava discusses how companies can implement the right number of Agile teams in the right places across the organization.

  • November 20, 2018


Fabian Delava: Agile at Scale

Agile teams can help companies become more flexible and customer-centric, but implementing them is often a challenge. Fabian Delava, a partner with Bain's Technology practice, explains how and where to implement these teams most effectively, while helping them to work with traditional teams.

Read the Bain Brief: Agile at Scale

Read the transcript below.

FABIAN DELAVA: When implemented correctly, Agile teams can make an organization faster, more flexible, and more customer-centric. So what if an organization could launch tens, hundreds, or even thousands of Agile teams? But scaling Agile is not easy. Companies often struggle to understand where to implement Agile and where not. And also, it's not uncommon to see Agile teams slowed down by the bureaucracy around them.

So for an organization, it's important to understand how to make traditional teams work with Agile teams. And when we look at successful Agile transformations, we see the leadership doing three things well. First of all, they operate themselves like an Agile leadership team.

They have a backlog of priorities. They adopt a test and learn approach, and they empower people. Secondly, they built a taxonomy of teams around three elements, the customer experiences, the internal process, and the technology platforms. And thirdly, they plan for a sequenced rollout of Agile teams in line with corporate priorities.

So when Agile teams are up, leadership push for greater changes in four areas. First, mindset and behaviors. They want to see Agile values and principles adopted across the organization, even if only some teams are adopting Agile ways of working.

Secondly, talent acquisition and motivation. They want to make sure that they have the right persons in the right roles, and that the incentive structure around them is properly set. Third, budgeting and planning cycles. They adopt a venture capitalist mindset.

And lastly, operating architecture. They build an organization that is much more modular and integrated, also involving the IT functions. So with great ambition and a sequenced approach to deploying Agile teams, companies can achieve great results, even if the future is uncertain.

Read the Article

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