Part Two: Three Transformative Truths Essential to Success
So, you say you’re a talented developer with experience in Angular, React, Node, and other hot technologies. And you’ve got a pretty strong resume that talks about your recent projects. While that’s all great, there’s one piece of advice that we offer to every developer seeking a great new position with a top tech company: take advantage of the amazing online development platforms to create a profile where you can SHOW examples of the work you have done.
During a recent Agile coaching engagement I overheard this comment: "Agile isn't a big thing." This viewpoint was clearly negative, as in: "Agile isn't any different than anything else." To provide context around this comment, it was mentioned in relationship to the scope of an Agile Transformation in its pilot stage; this is the part of a transformation where we work to share the vision and provide a limited set of people in an organization with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to become change leaders.
A shortcoming of most Agile transformations is that they do not go far enough when implementing Agile within an organization. They tend to solely focus on the IT side of the organizational equation without addressing the business side of the equation. IT transformations allow organizations to become more efficient and effective at delivery value once that value has been defined. Once something has entered the organization’s internal system, it can then be processed quickly. A colleague of mine refers to this form of optimization as ‘internal optimization.’
In Part 1 of this series, we addressed the value that Agile delivers in terms of the change in working capital from which many companies can benefit. In this post, we turn our attention to another key factor that CFOs must consider when evaluating Agility and its impact for the business related to de-risking the income stream and standing by the organization's fiduciary responsibility to its shareholders.
When you think about trends in the marketplace, one of the most critical ones we’re seeing on the creative front is that healthcare companies – including everything from walk-in clinics to hospitals to health insurance companies - are doing a lot of hiring for user experience design. Up until recently, many of these organizations weren’t extremely concerned with the end user; just keeping up with HIPAA compliance and moving from a paper to a digital experience was challenging enough without adding this additional layer of design complexity. Getting healthcare professionals on board with the digital experience and getting patients “in and out” was of primary importance.
Do you have a little beach time coming up? Maybe a few flights scheduled? What a great time to catch up on your reading! With that in mind, we’ve got some fantastic suggestions for you from our diverse team of leaders and subject matter experts, including top notch business books, suspenseful novels and uplifting biographies. Check these out and let us know if you have other suggestions or thoughts about the ones below. Happy reading!
You are with a large enterprise and your team believes strongly that an Agile Transformation will have a major impact for the organization that will result in greatly improved efficiency and faster time to market. You start from the bottom up; the effort is heavily supported by a few key stakeholders and team members and you make progress. But somewhere along the line, the Project Management Office (PMO) jumps in and attempts to measure results using traditional metrics that do not illustrate the true value of the transformation. So things unfortunately fall apart, or more likely are crushed. And maybe your organization tries again but after the second false start, the support for the transformation begins to melt away.
For those who aren't familiar with decision fatigue, it’s a condition where your ability to make decisions deteriorates with the number of decisions you make after a rest period (think nightly sleep). One of the most iconic counters to decision fatigue was Steve Jobs' seldom changing wardrobe. The number of decisions we make in a day is really staggering. And the impact of making the wrong one can vary from insignificant ("Should I wear the sand chinos or the tan chinos today?") to traumatic ("Can I make the crossing before the train gets here?").
For years, companies have talked about and measured IT performance metrics. In fact, in a previous blog post entitled “How do you measure your IT department’s performance?” we highlighted the fact that in a 2014 study from Continuity Software, only 56% of respondents said that they were tracking software performance, and of those, a much smaller number had invested in analytical tools to help them measure their performance.
Agile. Delivery of business value incrementally with a minimal amount of development work-in-progress (inventory) with such a short cycle time between plan and delivery that changes in market, technology, and legislation are immediately responded to with near zero “excess,” near zero “obsolescence,” and less “working capital” (cash) needed to keep the engineering machine running.
Agile transformations present significant stress to organizations. Much of this stress is derived from the realization that team members are expected to complete all of the tasks required by their legacy culture PLUS the new behaviors a successful Agile Transformation requires. And, we should be clear: Agile Transformations require new practices, techniques and events, all of which need to be learned, practiced and applied. And the time, effort, and energy required must come from somewhere. It is the proverbial 10 pounds of material in a 5 pound bag problem. It never fits and it is not Agile, because team members cannot sustain that pace indefinitely.