Going Agile. What are the first steps to help with the “Transformation”?

This is hard to answer without knowing company’s current process. You cannot go agile alone. The whole process shall go agile. Process means a business with roles, different types of activities, corresponding work results and sometime some associated projects.

There are many different ways for going agile. The main criteria that matter includes are:
– How much risk are you prepared to take?
– How keen / desperate are you to become agile?
– What ‘good things’ do you want ‘agile’ to give you?
– What aspects of the context you work in would get in the way of becoming agile?
– What does your team already know?

Key questions about the context for transformation to agile are:
– Is the context more focused on Enterprise or Project?
– Do regulations and the need for compliance with them form a significant constraint on the project?
– Does the way the work is governed apply constraints that impact our ability to be agile?
– Does the mind-set of the people involved constrain what we can do?
– Does the inherent complexity of the application constrain how agile we can be?
– Is the team small enough to be able to use the common agile practices effectively?
– Is the work split across teams or representatives from more than one organization?
– Does the team all sit together with the customer in the same room? If not, what degree of geographical separation do you really need to live with?

Unless you work in the ‘right’ context with respect to all of these questions, you either need to change your context or select carefully which set of practices suit your context – applying the standard set won’t work well.

Also one of the first steps in the transformation is to make sure you have executive sponsorship for your agile project.