Chapter 12: Aligning Agile with Your Corporate Culture – Everything you want to know about Agile


The most important factor in successful Agile adoption (and expansion) is aligning it to the culture, structures and constraints of your organization. Even the most effective Agile project work risks losing executive support if it cannot meet the overarching management, compliance and administrative structures established by the organization, which include:

•   Project management frameworks (such as the PMBOK®, PRINCE2® and ITIL®)

•   Corporate reporting

•   Budget management

•   Contract management

•   Staffing procedures

•   Performance metrics.

So, unless you are in the unique position of being able to adjust your organizational structures to suit the flexibility of Agile approaches44, you will need to find a way for your team’s Agile work to comply with these corporate standards. Thankfully, this is an achievable goal, although it may take some creative thinking to make it work within your specific organizational constraints.

The following chapters address the specific challenges of aligning Agile approaches within the project frameworks, budgeting structures, reporting requirements, staffing guidelines and other constraints of your organization. These chapters are intended to provide you with realistic and achievable approaches for achieving this alignment by advising on both:

•   The ideal model, where Agile approaches are readily accepted and corporate structures are adapted to support these approaches, and

•   The reality model, where you need to work within existing organizational structures with minimal opportunity for accommodating the flexibility of Agile approaches.

Importantly, each of these chapters offers a range of options to address the constraints, enabling you to find the most suitable approaches for your department (i.e. those that will be the least time-consuming for you and your staff and that have the greatest overlap with current work); and giving you the flexibility to adapt selected approaches as the organization becomes more familiar with (and more supportive of) Agile approaches.


44 As was achieved at BT Innovate and Design.