Consulting - Agile Assessment
Designing Innovative Organizations
Performance Assessment for your (Agile) Organization
At the beginning of any consulting co-operation, I strongly advise getting to know the organization and mapping the issues and symptoms via assessment. The resulting report becomes a working document and is very useful for tracking the progress.
The idea behind the assessment is to holistically scan your organization and identify weak points and misconceptions in your product/service value delivery chain and underlying principles. The assessment provides a big picture for consequent discussion about strategy and necessary changes across all functions of the organizations and is a crucial element in planning the internal improvement actions. The assessment can be done for both agile or traditional organizational design, and also for organizations beyond IT. It can focus on any organizational function and expand from there to neighboring functions or activities.
Language: The assessment can be carried in Slovak (Czech), English, or Spanish languages, and the resulting report can be in Slovak or English.
Is that you?
- Your organization does not perform as you expect it should, and you want to wake it up from stagnation.
- You feel exhausted as a lonely warrior for improvements and do not know why.
- You feel it is expected from you to do a heroic action to rescue the organization.
- The external environment changes rapidly, and you are slow to innovate.
- Your employees and colleagues demand happiness, Lego games, and avoidance of accountability.
- You fight and struggle on multiple battlefields - R&D, Product Management, Finance, Marketing, HR, and every function underperform.
- It seems your teams and departments are lacking skills and expertise.
- There is strong apathy and bad mood in the organization, which is omnipresent. It may be or may not be even toxic environment.
- It is not clear to you who is doing what exactly, but all complaints of overloading.
- There are permanent shortages of resources - equipment, rooms, people, funds (aka budgets), and where the shortage is the most common excuse for why something cannot be done.
During the assessment, we scan your department or organization holistically along four dimensions of Agile to understand your organization. We address cultural issues with people's engagement, motivation, and responsibilities. We look at the product /service aspect and value delivery chain including metrics and business plans, business outcomes, or marketing and communication. We study processes and their design including capabilities to respond to changes. And we try to verify knowledge management activities including knowledge creation, knowledge dissipation, talent formation, experimentation, and innovation. The assessor looks for the reasons, why some activities are done in some way, and how they relate to the defined success factors of the organization.
The output of the assessment is a report that maps the organizational landscape. It is not a hunt for what is wrong or what is good. It is rather a search for what is the current situation and how it is aligned with expected objectives now and into the future. Are there any expectations defined? Are they quantified and defined meaningfully? Does have the result any value for a target group, be it the external or internal customer? How is the organization aligned to achieve the expected outcome? Does bureaucracy support the operations or stands in the way? But most importantly, how organizations use available talent and engage it with problem-solving activities.
If an organization has already started adopting agile approaches, the assessment covers also the suitability of selected agile techniques for an objective and achieved impact. If an organization prefers traditional bureaucratic approaches, assessment focus on possibilities to streamline activities and deliver improvements.
The resulting report includes also recommendations and suggested steps for improvements. It serves as an underlying document for discussion with senior management about strategy and the next actions. Be it a small correction or a radical organizational redesign.
This assessment is for:
- Owners of companies, members of the board, and senior management
- Upper and middle line management, who wants to achieve results
- Salespeople, project managers, HR, purchasing departments, and people from other areas outside IT
- Leading managers of R&D or SW development
Depending size of the organization or its part, it requires 1-2 days of spending on-site and studying production plans, observing how people do the work in real and how does it relate to work objectives.
Our assessments enabled for the customer's savings in millions of EUR on organizational inefficiencies, and process waste. We have also enabled new business models and new organizational arrangements resulted in tens of millions of EUR in new business or improved value delivery.
Examples of the typical possible outcomes
In a particular organization ...
• ... we have shortened project delay from 6 months to 1 month during a period of 2 months and saved the organization €0,4 million through the introduction of transparency and collaboration techniques into the development teams.
• ... we have saved the organization 10 MDs of production time during every 2 weeks period in an organization size 25 FTE, resulted in saving of €10.000 / month. It was achieved through improvements in the development process and the elimination of redundant meetings.
• ... we have to unfrozen incoming cash flow for an organization running out of cash and saved it. It was achieved through the reorganization of faulty project planning and prioritization over the pool of resources, which resulted in the instant closing of several open projects and their billing to the customer.
• ... we have advised how to redesign the business model so the customer knows how to use the product meaningfully to create value, which resulted in an extra margin on a sales price for an organization. It was achieved through identification that the organization focuses all effort on delivering a product, which alone is of no value for the customer.
• ... we have advised the organization how to save €5 million in the very first year. It was achieved by the identification of an error in organizational structure, which leads to a waste of resources through duplication of activities. We have suggested a solution to how to fix it.
• ... we have helped the organization to survive the first wave of the COVID pandemic, without loss of performance and saved them €0,5 million of revenue. It was achieved through the identification of an ineffective organization of PMO, and its disconnect from the real customer. Our work initiated rapid fixes and deploy of a new process, which improved performance and staff motivation.
• ... we have achieved a 15% increase in invoicing, predictability of deliveries, and greater customer satisfaction. It was a result of our finding that there is a disconnect between organization objectives and the way how the organization is structured. We have advised on a strategical change to align the entire value chain.
• ... we have unlocked saving exceeding €1 million per year. It was achieved through the discovery of an undocumented internal process, which created nonrealistic deadlines for dev teams and resulted in overload and burnouts, and often to paralysis of development teams. We have helped to create new prioritization criteria, which enabled teams to take ownership and unlock their performance.
• ... we have opened up communication for smooth work allocation, resulting in a performance gain of 20%. It was achieved through the introduction of the elements of Scrum into a traditional organization for selected process steps.
• ... we have boost performance via the change in process method. It was achieved through discovery, that the currently declared agile/scrum project method has nothing to do with true Scrum methodology. We have found the root cause and recommended using a different agile method, more suitable for achieving the expected result.