Making the transition to the Agile mindset and way of working can be a game-changer for businesses, helping them to increase efficiency, productivity, and profitability. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the software development industry or not – the Agile methodology can be applied to practically any business interested in improving its bottom line.
But making the transition to Agile is not always easy, which is where an Agile consultant comes in. An Agile consultant can provide a range of services to help businesses make the switch, including training, coaching, and advice on best practices.
In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the services that an Agile consultant can provide businesses interested in making the switch to Agile project management.
What is an Agile consultant and what do they do?
To make sure that we’re all on the same page, let’s start by defining what an Agile consultant is.
An Agile consultant is someone who helps businesses transition to the Agile way of working. They are experts in the Agile methodology and can provide businesses with advice, training, and support on how to implement it effectively.
A consultant will essentially work with you to help you understand what Agile is, how it can benefit your business, and what steps you need to take to make the transition. They will then provide ongoing support to ensure that you are implementing Agile practices effectively and reaping all of the benefits.
Why are Agile consultants important?
Any business can jumpstart and perhaps even complete an Agile transformation on its own. However, working with an Agile consultant can help ensure the transition is smooth and successful.
An experienced Agile consultant will have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with you. They will be able to advise you on the best way to implement Agile in your business based on their experiences with other organizations. This could save you a lot of time, money, and effort in the long run.
Moreover, an Agile consultant can provide ongoing support to help you troubleshoot any problems you may encounter during the transition. This is particularly important if you are new to Agile and don’t have anyone in your organization who is experienced with the methodology.
Agile consulting service types
‘Helping a business transition to Agile’ is a broad term, and there are a number of different ways in which an Agile consultant can help.
Here are some of the most common services that consultants offer.
DevOps is a set of product development practices that combines development (Dev) and operations (Ops) to shorten the time it takes to deliver features from idea to production without compromising the security of the organization.
It is often used in conjunction with the Agile methodology as it helps to speed up the delivery process by automating repetitive tasks and increasing communication and collaboration between Dev and Ops teams.
An Agile consultant can work with your teams to help them adopt DevOps practices and tools. This could involve training your team members on the basics of DevOps, helping them to select the right tools for your organization, and advising on best practices for implementing DevOps within an Agile environment.
Agile at scale
Adopting DevOps is more of a team-level change, but an Agile consultant can also help with organizational-level changes, such as scaling Agile to support a larger team or enterprise.
This usually involves four key pillars of enterprise Agile adoption: People transformation, Process transformation, Infrastructure transformation, and Tools and technology transformation.
An Agile consultant can help you to assess where your organization is at with each of these pillars and create a roadmap for how to scale Agile effectively. This might involve training new team members on Agile, setting up new processes and infrastructure, or selecting the right tools to support a larger Agile team.
An enterprise-level Agile transformation can be a big undertaking, lasting anywhere from 3 to 5 years (depending on the size of the organization). As such, it is important to have an experienced consultant on board who can help you navigate the process and ensure it is successful.
Business value and product ownership
An Agile consultant can also be hired to focus on specific aspects of the Agile methodology, such as business value or product ownership.
Business value is all about ensuring that the product you are developing is delivering tangible benefits to the business. This could involve setting up new processes for measuring business value, training team members on how to prioritize work based on business value, or advising on how to get started with business value analysis.
Similarly, an Agile consultant can help with product ownership by providing advice on setting up product owner roles and responsibilities, prioritizing the product backlog, or carrying out product demos.
Both of these areas are important for ensuring that an Agile transformation successfully delivers tangible benefits to the business.
One of the reasons why Agile transformations can be difficult is because they require buy-in from senior leaders. An Agile consultant can help in this department as well.
This could involve anything from running workshops to help leaders understand the basics of Agile, to helping them create an Agile roadmap for the organization, to coaching them on how to be an effective Agile leader.
Leadership education is important for ensuring that an Agile transformation is successful in the long term, as it ensures that there is investment and support from those at the top of the organization.
Developing Scrum Masters and Release Train Engineers
There are several different Agile framework options or Agile methodologies to choose from, and each has its own specific roles and responsibilities.
Scrum is one of the most popular Agile frameworks, and it includes the role of a Scrum Master. The Scrum Master is responsible for ensuring that the team adheres to the Scrum framework and helps to remove any impediments that are preventing them from being productive.
Another popular Agile framework is SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework). In SAFe, Release Train Engineers (RTEs) play a similar role to Scrum Masters in that they are responsible for ensuring that the team adheres to the SAFe framework and helps to remove any impediments that are preventing them from being productive.
An Agile consultant can help you assess which frameworks and roles are best suited to your organization and team, and provide training on how to carry out these roles effectively.
How to choose an Agile consultant?
Let’s explore the key factors you should consider when choosing an Agile consultant for your business.
Look at the company
Evaluate the company offering Agile consulting services. Are there any testimonials or third-party reviews you can read? How long has the company been in business? Do they have any industry awards or recognition?
Look at the people
While it is important that the consultant or consultants you hire have the right qualifications and credentials (which you should definitely check), it is also important that they are a good fit for your team.
You will be working closely with them, so it is important that you feel like you can trust them and that you gel well with their personality. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does their style of communication fit well with your team’s style?
- Do they have a good understanding of the business and the industry you are in?
- Do they seem like they would be easy to work with on a day-to-day basis?
Look at the processes
Does the company you’re looking at employ Agile principles themselves? Are they flexible and adaptable, or do they rigidly adhere to a particular process? Do they have a solid understanding of the different Agile frameworks and how to tailor them to meet the specific needs of your organization?
These are all important factors to consider when choosing an Agile consultant. It is important that you find a company that is a good fit for your team and your organization and that has the experience and expertise to help you successfully implement Agile.
An Agile consultant can help you and your organization with a variety of different aspects of an Agile transformation, from leadership education to developing scrum masters and release train engineers.
If you want to improve only in one aspect of Agile, a consultant can help you with that as well.
When choosing an Agile consultant, it is important to consider the company and the people offering the services, as well as their processes. You want to ensure that they have what it takes to help you successfully implement Agile in your organization and that they mesh well with your team
By following these guidelines, you can be sure to find an Agile consultant that will be a valuable asset to your organization.