Questionnaire – Agile Self-Check
With this questionnaire you have the possibility to reflect the state of your own organization. In each topic, please tick the status you think describes your organisation best at the moment. This assessment represents a snapshot and should help to drive the process of “being agile” in a structured way.
The fields of observation are:
Strategy – Developing an agile target image
Agile companies align their strategy with the customer and strive to maximize customer value. They consistently wear the “customer glasses” and have a vision for the topic of agility in the company. This includes agile organizational structures as well as an agile corporate culture and an agile understanding of leadership.
- Efficiency: The focus is on the organization and its profit. The organization thrives on its stable structures and stable environment.
- Agile insight: Innovation and customer focus are recognized as possible new alternatives. But the belief that and the knowledge how it really works is still missing.
- Shortly before the catastrophe: The company is struggling with a large number of stakeholders and has no clear direction.
- Agile Management Team: The management team has recognized that the future lies in being agile. Employees and managers have the freedom to develop innovative, customer-centric solutions and actively incorporate the customer perspective.
- Agile Corporate Management: With a desire for change and innovation, we achieve maximum customer benefit and are successful with it.
Structure – Creating a customer-oriented organizational structure
Companies need organizational structures that support their own adaptability. Instead of working in silos and pyramids, agile organizations work in customer-oriented network structures and cross-functional teams, which requires a fundamental rethinking of the self-image and attitude of the line managers.
- Pyramid: The organization is structured hierarchically. The first management level sets the direction.
- Permeable silos: Some of the work in the organisation is already carried out across departments and in flexible teams. At the same time, there are hierarchies that focus on one’s own interests.
- Cross-functional matrix: The hierarchy is retained and attempts are made to implement technical leadership through dotted lines. The customer is somewhere in between.
- Hybrid: The focus is on the customer and the line supports this perspective.
- Network: We work in a network. The entire organization is customer-oriented (processes, attitude, thinking).
Process – Iterative process design
Rapid service of customer needs is the core of the agile process landscape. Short planning cycles, a procedure in iterations and delivery in increments are characteristic for this and are supported by procedure models such as SCRUM. This enables fast delivery of products and results in close coordination with the customer.
- Waterfall: The waterfall method is used to plan projects.
- Individual agile teams: The company is experimenting with agile methods in order to become faster. The rest of the organization works old style.
- Agile Domain Processes: Agile methods such as SCRUM have been transferred from individual teams to the whole domain. In some cases, the organization is reaching its limits.
- Cross-functional agile processes: We are strongly customer-oriented and are significantly faster in our processes than before.
- Agile organizational processes: The entire organization has internalized agile processes, understood agile roles and implemented feedback loops.
Leadership – Developing employee-centric leadership
While in traditional organizations executives are often technical experts who exert strong pressure to achieve results, in agile organizations the executive puts himself at the service of the teams. Together they create faster benefits for the customer and increase the maturity and self-responsibility of their employees. In fully-fledged agile organizations, the “classic leadership role” as a decision maker no longer exists.
- Top Down: Executives are technical experts who completely set the direction and stand up for security, control and competitive orientation.
- Leadership vacuum: Leaders are slowly opening up to new leadership approaches, but still have difficulties letting go and giving up control or power.
- Strong lateral guidance: Guide is transferred to multiple shoulders. (e.g. SCRUM-Master, Product Owner,…)
- Transformational leadership: Our managers spend a lot of time on actual leadership tasks and actively strive to delegate responsibility.
- Agile leadership: Our managers are mentors and human specialists who promote all employees in a strength-oriented manner and transfer responsibility to them.
HR – Using modern, innovative HR instruments
In agile companies, HR departments as well as managers drive the transfer of responsibility and tasks to cross-functional teams. Employees are more closely involved in HR processes such as recruiting or personnel development. HR becomes the catalyst for agile transformation.
- HR: classic HR tasks such as recruiting, objectives, etc. are entirely the responsibility of the manager. HR does not exist or has a purely administrative function.
- Prepare for agile HR: takes care of administrative issues and acts as a service provider for the line.
- Agile HR pilots: HR is organized according to the Business Partner Model and there are specialists for recruiting, support, administration, development, etc..
- Agile HR support: HR tasks such as recruiting are the responsibility of the team and managers, and HR itself is increasingly organised in a decentralised manner.
- Agile HR catalyst: The main responsibility for previous HR issues now lies with managers and teams, while HR is an agile transformation facilitator.
Culture – Living Agile Culture
Transparency, dialogue, trust and a constructive culture of error are characteristic of agile organizations. Safeguarding mechanisms, standardization, low degrees of freedom and status thinking give way to acting at eye level. Changes are viewed positively, enabling faster adaptation and becoming the competitive advantage of the future.
- Hedging culture: Trust is good – control is better. With us one is considered on security and error avoidance.
- Agile Cultural Conflicts: Within the organisation, communication and information is very deliberate. Feedback doesn’t really matter.
- Agile cultural invention: There is a lively, but sometimes inefficient, exchange and haphazard communication.
- Agile cultural identification: There is regular, open and transparent communication. Managers are increasingly seeking dialogue with employees.
- Culture of trust: We discuss all issues across all hierarchies, including strategic and financial issues. We deal openly with mistakes and give transparent feedback.
Source: according to the TRAFO model of HR Pioneers