Hidden Facilitators of Agile Transition

Author(s): Reza Meimandi Parizi
Venue: IEEE Software Conference
Date: 2014

Type of Experiement: Case Study
Sample Size: 49
Class/Experience Level: Professional
Participant Selection: 13 voluntary software companies
Data Collection Method: Observation, Project Artifact(s)


The paper highlights the importance of two hidden facilitators in companies that transition to the agile methodology. These facilitators are Agile coaches and Agile champions. Agile coaches and champions have real responsibilities that impress the success of a companies' transition into Agile.

Agile transition is considered to be a great challenge. The transition affects people and the culture of the company making it hard for individuals to change their own mindset around Agile. Furthermore, Agile transition is generally a company-wide mutation affecting every individual in the company hierarchy. Not only does it affect the people inside the company, it also affects its customers.

Agile coaches are critical in the transition phase, because they help managers in the preparation phase. When the transition is happening and every individual is taking on new roles, the Agile coach must be present to help deal with any obstacles or stress that arises. Finally, the coaches are sometimes needed in the adjustment phase to keep the Agile methodology rolling.

The article describes an Agile champion as " a person who can adjust Agile practices to suit environment and also support other members in the change process." Agile champions can be any member of a team including managers. There are however, "dark champions," that fight the status quo.

In conclusion, companies who haven't started the transition to Agile should hire experienced Agile coaches and Agile champions.