Agile Transformation Audit

Actionable insights, impending risks, and better outcomes for technology leaders


Due diligence assurance on information technology functions and Agile transformations 

Technology departments are expensive to run and managers should be improving their performance continually. Agile transformed IT 20 years ago, yet we still hear of:

  • too many large and important projects failing;
  • a gap between what the business wants and what IT delivers;
  • unhappy users who wait too long for features that don't work properly.

Although all of these problems can be readily addressed, we find legacy thinking and processes get in the way, causing waste and inefficiency. Failed transformation attempts and bastardised Scrum and SAFe implementations tend to hide these underlying problems. But rising costs and decreasing quality indicate there's a problem worth fixing.

We report the causes of those problems, the impact they will likely have, and provide actionable options for executives to overcome them. 

Agile Transformation Audit Features


Audits are carried out by two senior consultants having complementary expertise in technology and leadership. They meet with people at all levels of the organisation to assess the current reality of technology delivery.


Whilst gathering information, the pair compare findings, forming a complete picture of the current constraints and opportunities, which they test in-vivo, and distill into a research-quality executive report. 


The executive report contains a brief factual assessment of the current state and likely medium-term consequences, followed by detailed options for improvement. These are specific actions, validating employees' ideas, resolving persistent conflicts, and always improving effectiveness. 
Our report for executives states the current situation in terms of both BAU efficiency and Agile delivery effectiveness. 

We highlight people and actions that should be more widely adopted and provide clear options for fixing current and impending problems.

Why Audit Agile Transformations? 

Agile transformation programs are high-risk bets on uncertainty - most fizzle out
agile transformation audit reveals what is really happening in an IT department

Drivers of Agile transformation

Firms organised and governed by 19th and 20th century models are less productive and less adaptable than their digital age contemporaries. They are: 

  • struggling to hire and retain the talent they need to develop new products and services; 
  • struggling to maintain profits from existing Business As Usual (BAU) revenues because of legacy ways of working, thinking and technology; and 
  • struggling to live-up to their rhetoric for corporate social responsibility or diversity and inclusivity in a world of transparency and social injustice.

Transformation is obviously needed, but by which method and with what assurances? 

Early signs are always good

Imagine your firm aims to become 200% more effective. You have a Head of Transformation, a budget, agreed measures, and monthly progress meetings with the Executive leadership team.

There's a real upturn as these new initiatives ramp up amongst the delivery teams. Why does this ALWAYS happen? Not because of Agile, Scrum, Kanban, or SAFe. It's because of management's collective focus on improvement.

Inertia against change builds whilst managers' focus returns to Business As Usual and they realise they cannot change the system. Revenue targets and staff appraisals take priority over updating outdated security, accounting, and hiring policies. Agile Transformation programs inevitably run out of momentum. They don't fail, so much as fizzle out.

Agile is not enough to transform an organisation

The Agile Manifesto of 2001 was an engineer's solution to an engineering problem. A response to the tension between the heavyweight and overly controlling methods of the time and the empirically better ways of developing software products that were emerging. The result; better ways of delivering better software.

But Agile delivery is only part of the bigger picture. Revenue comes from selling existing products and services, and profits come from being efficient in operation. That's where Lean is useful, delivering value to customers as quickly and cheaply as possible.

So, both Lean for Business As Usual and Agile for new products are needed, simultaneously.

And, managers have a crucial role in transforming both ways of working.

Improve your IT performance with our Agile transformation audit and recommendations report

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I gave this talk Starting Lean - Running an Agile Enterprise to a group of founders of mostly small businesses. You can view and download the slides from the link. The talk is based on Ash Maurya's book, called Running Lean, a firm favourite because it's so practical. Think of this as Lean Startup applied […]

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Most ways of working still rely on functional hierarchy, where managers make decisions and workers do the work. Managers know they can't change this work structure, but they can transform its effectiveness without asking for permission and without needing a budget. Before exploring the changes that transform the way people work, we need to recognise […]

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You see, I thought I was the first agilist to make the connection between agile transformation models and organizational ambidexterity. Certainly, it seemed original when it emerged in conversation with my supervisor. In fact, it was Dr Alireza Javanmardi Kashan’s idea (better make it 13 signs), but it came from our conversation so we said […]

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