​A great methodology to deliver and develop better software is by incorporating agile practices.  While scaling agile in enterprise environments, one needs to understand the differences between scope and change control, and how to properly apply a given agile framework to bring in change without putting the overall project at risk. This involves collaborative agreements, iteration-based change control, transparency and effective stakeholder communication.
“The 11th annual State of Agile™ survey found that enterprise agility is increasing throughout organizations and across almost all industries at an accelerated rate. For the first time, half of the survey respondents came from outside North America. While the largest number (23%) of respondents still worked for software companies, the number from non-software companies grew significantly in 2016. Respondents from very large organizations, employing more than 20,000 people, also increased.”

​Agile Manifesto Values and Principles

Agile manifesto values ensure that the response to change is a fundamental driver for agile projects. Even though there are changes in the requirement frequently, the projects must be ready if there are any changes in the plan. Hence, the agile principle is to welcome change in requirements even in the later stages of development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.  

Challenges to Scaling Agile in Enterprise Organizations

There are many benefits of agile development – better change management, increased productivity, saving time and improved software quality. But when the company size is too large, there are also a few challenges that one can meet while developing agile

Change resistance: One of the biggest challenges in big companies is to be open to change. When the employees are so familiar and comfortable with certain processes and wireframes, it gets challenging to introduce change. For example, people have been working with legacy systems since ages and hence, changing over to agile will involve skepticism. So, while introducing the agile methodology, it is necessary to focus on its advantages such as rapid and frequent delivery unlike legacy systems.

Pre-existing Rigid/Waterfall Framework: Agile is more flexible and responsive to change than those used in Waterfall or V Model. Although, it will take time, effort and resources while changing the entire framework for an organization. Changes of this magnitude are risky in nature, and hence the benefits have to be clearly communicated to get support from the C-suite. The mindset of the executive level will also need to be transformed.

Handling Agile Teams: Coordination is a huge challenge even amongst agile teams while trying to scale development and delivery. In a big company, the team might have multiple goals and coordinating could be an issue. Another scenario is coordinating with non-agile teams such as teams that are working on waterfall methodologies. Also, while changing to the agile methodology, one needs to train and coach employees which might cause a delay in delivering agile frameworks.

Advantages of Agile Software

  • Quick turnarounds: Unlike any other software development approach, Agile calls for quick turnarounds for QA. By implementing continuous integration in Agile, this can be solved.


  • Repetitive execution: Agile calls for daily build deployments which can be certified using the right automation tool and a suitable automation approach.


  • Quality assured: With a proper automation suite designed, the quality of the product can be assured at any given time by executing the automation suite. However, the test cases selected for automation need to have a good coverage of the application.


  • Team is responsible for quality: Since automation is required in almost every phase of the agile process, the complete team is responsible for the quality of the product.


  • Test Automation saves time: Automation is a significantly important to maintain agility, and is a priority for the entire team through established practices and a focus on continuous improvement. Continuous builds and tests (unit, functional & integration test execution) are examples of applying automation beyond the scope of traditional automated tests. In waterfall projects clients may not be too keen on investing in automation as precedence, primarily due to the handoff mindset that go together with that approach. Automation is a critical factor for regression testing hence, its coverage should be as high as possible.

Tips for Change Management in Agile

  • Make sure understanding of acceptance change is expected from project inception by having project charter or kickoff meeting, clear roles and responsibilities and identify product owners, stakeholders in reviews, teams, etc.


  • Hold those involved to expected behaviors during product builds, especially for management and customers/stakeholders. It takes greater restraint to be self-organized.


  • Opening organizational mindsets to an agile framework leads you half way to success. Introducing the agile methodology by explaining the benefits would do the trick.


  • Introducing consistent processes and practices would make it a smooth transition. It would also ensure better coordination amongst teams and would provide predictable progress for stakeholders.


  • Move to short development cycles. Instead of developing full blown solutions, release a smaller, useful functional product by getting into the “Minimal Viable Product” (MVP) mode.


  • Try to define interim milestones: internal releases that break up long release cycles to stop user stories from accumulating in the backlog. For instance, break your delivery cycle in multiple versions such as, alpha version to a select group of internal users within two months, and a beta to a group of friendly external customers two months after that. This will ensure that you are always on schedule.


Scaling enterprises with agile is possible by incorporating key success factors like providing support for executives, shift in delivery, consistent processes, proper training and coaching. By focussing on these key areas implementing agile or scaling agile won’t be a difficult task. Agile is a journey that needs long-term commitment and an open mindset of team members and rest assured, you will notice the benefits that agile methodologies bring to your organization.

Categories: Uncategorized