Driving Agile Transformation through Cultural Shift
“While technically, an agile transformation is largely focused on changing the business workflow, it is actually about ensuring a cultural shift within organisations,” begins Tolga Kombak, managing partner at ACM, a company specialised in agile practices. Kombak’s words reflect on the need for companies to be agile; they have to fundamentally change the way their employees work rather than merely modifying the workflows. This is where ACM makes a mark.
Since its inception in 2007, Turkey-based ACM has emphasised on the ‘don’t do agile, be agile’ principle, which makes it stand out among its peers as a specialist in delivering agile practices. The firm guides businesses in their agile transformation journey by providing them with training and consulting services to enhance their software development processes. ACM’s services not only improve the customers’ IT operations, but also deliver operational efficiencies to HR, finance, sales, and marketing teams.
ACM understands that every organisation functions as per its predefined norms and culture, and thus, it does not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach for agile transformation. Instead, The company has developed an empirical model known as Agile Transformation Governance, which distinctly studies and addresses the changes in three critical segments—team structure, organisational operating system, and business portfolio of clients. This model leads the agile transformation in five focus areas within an enterprise including quality, customer orientation, datadriven decision making, Kaizen culture, and transformational leadership. The company has also created two core teams—Agile Studio and Agile Leaders—to handle the transformation of these five key areas.
Agile Studio is an in-house team of agile coaches responsible for implementing agile methodologies and practices; in addition to conducting Scrum master empowerment programs for training employees into professional agile coaches. On the other hand, Agile Leaders is a sponsored team created by C-level executives of firms to embrace agile transformation. Apart from providing basic agile practices via Agile Transformation Governance model, ACM offers primary agile mindset training and professional Scrum certifications to accelerate clients’ agile journey.
“Being an agile coaching and consultancy company with a strong background, our mission is to bolster the software development processes across industries with the help of our empirical model,” says Kombak. These services are widely availed by businesses across finance, banking, insurance, global telecommunications, e-commerce, media, marketing, energy, and automotive sectors. One of these clients—Turkeybased Akbank—benefitted significantly when they associated with ACM to employ agile practices. ACM began the agile transformation of the bank’s IT team by implementing the first Scrum project for credit cards and point-of-sale (POS) devices. Soon after, the client wanted to pilot a full IT domain with Scrum teams to deliver software functionalities every two weeks. ACM has capably fulfilled all these needs of the bank, and today, Akbank consists of 143 Scrum teams, 12 Professional Scrum Product Owner I (PSPO-I) certified employees, and four professional Scrum master II (PSMII) certified internal agile coaches. Similar to Akbank, other banks of Turkey have also been associating with ACM to be agile.
For years, ACM has solely aimed at refining its Agile Transformation Governance model in accordance with the changing customer requirements. However, at present, the company’s focus is on adopting DevOps practices while improving clients’ business processes using agile methodologies. On the geographical front, ACM envisions expanding into the Middle East as well as Eastern European countries and emerging as a leading agile coaching and consultancy company.