GettingStarted with Agile in the Enterprise
If a team tries to adopt an Agile development approach unilaterally within the enterprise, you may make things somewhat better, but you will not realize the full benefits or potential and the team may end up very frustrated and dissatisfied with the outcome. It is also likely that your agile adoption will not "stick" as people will return to their old behaviors over time. Therefore, moving to agile must be a combination of a "top-down" and "bottom-up" initiative. There is certainly a trend in many organizations to adopt agile on a small scale within departmental silos. However, this often results in a very costly infrastructure with disconnected teams, tools, infrastructure and lack of a measurement system to ensure that the organization is continually improving.
Who within an enterprise handles the planning and implementation of Agile adoption?
The responsibility for planning and adopting agile within a large organization varies greatly. However, a common pattern has emerged where it is an individual or group that has true responsibility for managing organizational change. Sometimes, it's the CIO, CTO, PMO or Senior Executive in Engineering or Research and Development. The bottom line is that organizational change rarely occurs without management support.
Where within the company should the Agile adoption be driven?
This depends on the type of business and its organizational structure, however, it usually needs to occur from within a Technology Department (e.g. R&D, Engineering) for better or worse, because the majority of the change needs to happen within their group. The paradox is that the business must be a key player in the agile adoption and has the most to win or lose, but they often lack the technical knowledge and/or change management expertise to drive this change within the organization.