No small amount of initial confusion, and eventual disappointment, stems from misguided expectations about what Agile adoption will do, and when.
As you know, I’m not a fan of “more widgets, faster” as a driving reason for Agile adoption. But its quite natural that management will be attracted to Agile for the promise of faster and cheaper delivery. Many transformations, then, have some justifying entry on the balance sheet. We do this because it will save money.
What’s baffling is that legacy waterfall projects could go deep and dark for 18 months without manifesting any value, and no one asked questions. But if an Agile team isn’t bringing serious fruit in a month or two….panic ensues.
Your best bet is to 1) Expect and 2) Communicate that those first few months will be mayhem. As teams and leaders resist the new ‘way’, the change from what is familiar and safe, they also struggle with embracing new traditions in a way that is complete and meaningful to productivity. The whole idea behind Agile is to start where you are and get better, and your adoption process is not an exception.
Even still, best not to go into a deep dark abyss even for two months…if you can skillfully predict what maturity levels you will be guiding the teams to in each sprint, you will be helping your client or host organization weather the uncertainty and stomach the risk.