Agile Transition


The goal of the Agile Transition is for cross-functional teams to work together in a more customer-focused manner, thus achieving significantly higher added value for all stakeholders: for customers and partners, for the company and for each individual employee.

The agile transition can reach four levels:

  • Agile partnership – between supplier and customer
  • Agile company
  • Agile departments
  • Agile teams

Regardless of the urgency of the transformation, companies generally start with pilot projects at an interdisciplinary team level. The goal is to verify agile methodologies, methods and tools for enterprise viability. With positive results, the confidence grows to roll out a higher agility on individual departments and then to transfer to the entire enterprise. The highest level of agility is achieved through the joint value creation chain of suppliers and customers, who act as value-added partners in the market and jointly achieve a competitive advantage.

The levels of agility

The agile transformations can reach four levels. The first level covers the entire ecosystem of the enterprise: the partnership between suppliers, the company and its customers, e.g. for the co-creative development of innovations or the design of shared value networks.

The second level involves the agile transformation of the entire enterprise, including cultural change, agile leadership, and a governance model for team self-organization.

The third level is agility at the departmental level: the cross-functional collaboration of selected departments beyond traditional departmental boundaries.

The fourth level is a stand-alone solution at the team level using, for example, agile methods, e.g. Scrum and Kanban, as a pilot project or specifically used only in software development.

Agile Transition

To plan, visualize and accompany the agile transformation, Dr. Ing. Karl-Michael Henneking in 2017 developed an Agile Transition Framework based on multi-year experiences in agile transformations in international companies. Based on the framework, the agile transition can be discussed from different perspectives and the insights can be combined into an overall picture. The framework describes all important dimensions that need to be taken into account and thus becomes the basis for how the agile transformation can succeed.

Areas of Application

The four levels of agility have one thing in common: to achieve a quantum leap in performance, all dimensions of agility need to be orchestrated into an overall system:

  • Agile culture and leadership
    Employees and teams with an agile mindset
  • Agile methodologies, technologies and tools
  • Agile processes and value chains