lighthouse showing inthe clouds

by the Cornerstone Agility Team | 6 Minute Read

Bringing an Agile Mindset to Accelerate Your Cloud Journey

Cloud adoption is no longer a luxury; it's a necessity for all modern organizations. However, a poorly planned cloud journey can result in wasted time, resources, and worst of all, loss of credibility with your customers and stakeholders.

This is where Agile shines—not as a buzzword, but as a genuine guiding principle for transformation and change.

When thinking about your cloud journey alongside your Agile transformation, we are not focusing on framework and methodology here. Rather, the key to successful cloud transformation from our team’s experience is embracing Agile as a mindset – creating a culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and, most importantly, a focus on delivering value.

Why should you pair your Agile transformation with your cloud journey?

Adopting agile principles alongside your cloud journey ensures you're building something meaningful, not just creating a complex and expensive but hollow infrastructure. When working with organizations as they go through their cloud journey, we focus on three main aspects of cloud development and agility that help these programs thrive.

Build with the Customer in Mind

There's a certain vanity in building for the sake of building. You can easily get lost in the “cloud”, adding features, and capabilities that look impressive on paper but don't necessarily align with customer needs or business objectives. A focus on customer-centricity ensures that every step you take—every technology you employ—is aimed at delivering real value to the people who matter most: your customers!

As we go through and align strategy with execution, bringing an Agile mindset to the conversation is critical. Align your people, processes, and tools to the products that drive success for your organization through infrastructure.

Leverage the Scalability and Innovative Aspects of the Cloud

The cloud's inherent flexibility and scalability are a perfect match for Agile transformation. Agile methodologies provide the framework to scale your teams, processes, and operations as your cloud initiatives evolve. Whether it's expanding your product offerings, entering new markets, or adapting to changing business needs, the combined power of the cloud and agile enables seamless scalability and growth.

Cloud technologies often come with built-in agile enablers like quick deployment capabilities, scalable resources, and DevOps pipelines, making it easier to practice agile methodologies. The continuous delivery of value through your pipelines makes them a perfect match for building out agile practices within your teams and your processes.

New tools, updates, and features can be integrated seamlessly without causing a ripple in your operations by coupling your cloud journey with your Agile transformation. Without proper alignment of people and process to the deployment and release capabilities from your cloud DevOps practices, you won’t get the most out of your cloud strategy.

Get the Right People in the Room and Organize Around Value

Now, you can't achieve this customer-centric approach in a vacuum. This is where team topographies and planning cadences come into play. Your cloud journey will impact almost every aspect of your business, so understanding how you structure your teams and organization is critical to your success.

We have found that building out and scaling different team topologies while coordinating and aligning through big room, quarterly planning cycles is an incredibly effective way to deliver value quickly.

By aligning on what teams are responsible for what outcomes, while having a shared goal and purpose, we can vastly accelerate your cloud journey. This means bringing the business and technology strategy together, and aligning roadmaps across our platform, enablement, subsystem, and stream-aligned teams to understand how value flows to our customers sooner. Don’t just blindly build services, build robust products that deliver value quickly.

Don’t Go It Alone

The cloud journey is inevitable, but how you undertake this journey makes all the difference. Agile coaching ensures you're not just moving but moving in the right direction, providing value to the customers, and staying aligned with business objectives. Different team structures and planning cadences further amplify this value-driven approach. Remember, when you're ascending into the cloud, make sure you're grounded in Agile principles.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What aspects of your current cloud journey could benefit from continuous improvement?
  2. How well does your existing team structure align with delivering business value?
  3. In your organization, what does customer-centricity really mean, and how is it being executed in your cloud program?

In your journey, it can be incredibly valuable to bring a partner along for the ride. Interested in hearing how we drive success for our customers? Leave us a note and let’s get the conversation started!