Moving beyond agile to become a software innovator
Companies need to borrow a page from the tech industry’s playbook to understand how to use agile to build better products and experiences.
By Santiago Comella-Dorda, Martin Harrysson, and Shivam Srivastava – t the end of the movie The Candidate, Robert Redford is sitting in a hotel room surrounded by cheering staffers after his character has won the election for the US Senate. Looking a little perplexed and forlorn, he turns to his advisor and asks, “What do we do now?”
Many executives who have led their businesses through successful agile programs can probably relate to Redford’s character. They have overseen sizable improvements in software product development thanks to agile; our Developer Velocity research shows that adoption of agile practices at the team level can be one of the most critical dimensions for companies that are in the early part of their journey.
But many of these businesses have run into a ceiling where incremental gains are minimal. The same Developer Velocity research, for example, showed that while third-quartile companies in terms of overall software-development performance scored 41 percent higher on agile practices than fourth-quartile companies, the differences between companies in the first and second quartiles dropped to less than 20 percent. In other words, once a business hits a certain level of excellence, improvements to how teams work in agile alone drive diminishing returns.
For companies that have realized many of the initial gains from adopting agile, there are valuable lessons to be learned from how tech companies develop products. The industry’s intense competition and pace of change have forced tech companies to develop a set of capabilities that take the fullest advantage of agile, of which the following are the most important:
- grounding every decision on customer value through world-class product management and experience design and adopting an operating model built on products and platforms
- creating a software-engineering culture that nurtures and celebrates technical craftmanship, empowers teams, and provides them with high levels of psychological safety in addition to supporting developers with automation and world-class tools
- embedding data and analytics at every level of product development
Posted in Business, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, How to, Net, Technology
Tagged Agile, Business improvement, Internet, McKinsey, Productivity, Skills, Technology
By Steve Denning – As I suggested here and here, the subject of Strategic Agility is important because it’s central to the key business issue: how to make money from Agile? If the Agile movement is only about creating great workplaces for software developers (also important!) but doesn’t generate better business outcomes, its life expectancy won’t be long. Since I continue to get questions about the meaning of the term, “Strategic Agility,” a few more words about it are in order.
To begin with, it’s useful to recognize that “strategy” in management is contested territory. The term is used in different senses by different practitioners and writers. I am not suggesting that one sense of “strategy” is right and all the others are necessarily wrong. So long as we make clear how we are using the term, we can go on having a useful discussion.
Much of what I see in the world of Agile software development is, by my definition, operational Agility. i.e. making the existing products better, faster, cheaper and so on for existing customers.
Operational Agility is a good thing, and even essential, but it has a drawback. It usually doesn’t make much money.
That’s because in the 21st Century marketplace where competitors are often quick to match improvements to existing products and services, and where power in the marketplace has decisively shifted to customers, it can be difficult for firms to monetize those improvements. more>
The Castle, Author: Franz Kafka.
Accelerate, Author: John Kotter.
Age of Heretics, Author: Art Kleiner.
By Steve Denning – If you’ve toiled in a big organization for any time, you’re familiar with the whips and scorns of an insolent supervisor and the sneer of cold command. In the midst of multiple put-downs and slights of your best efforts, it’s little consolation that your horrible boss is just as unhappy as you are.
We now know that the cost of bureaucracy is high. Gary Hamel and Michele Zanini suggest that in the USA it’s $3 trillion annually.
Is this the best that the human race can manage? Is there no antidote to soul-destroying bureaucracy?
One possibility that has recently emerged is Agile–a way of running organizations that has become a vast global movement. In principle at least, it sounds attractively anti-bureaucratic, as explained here.
In Agile, people and interactions are emphasized ahead of process and tools. Customers and staff constantly interact with each other. Finished work is delivered frequently so that the people can see the impact of their work in days or weeks rather than years.
Communications take the form of conversations, not top-down commands. There is close daily cooperation between business people, developers and designers.
Continuous attention is paid to technical excellence and good design and regular adaptation to changing circumstances. Teams routinely achieve high-performance and operate in the state of “flow” identified by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, where those doing the work enjoy energized focus, full involvement, and deep satisfaction in the process of the activity. more> https://goo.gl/BHarqN
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Tagged Agile, Broadband, Business improvement, Internet, Jobs, Leadership, Organization, Productivity
By Steve Denning – As software itself becomes a critical driver in almost all businesses, Agile is now spreading to every kind of organization and every aspect of work, as recognized in 2016 by the citadel of general management—Harvard Business Review—with its article, “Embracing Agile,” by Darrell K. Rigby, Jeff Sutherland and Hirakata Takeuchi.
“Now agile methodologies—which involve new values, principles, practices, and benefits and are a radical alternative to command-and-control-style management—are spreading across a broad range of industries and functions and even into the C-suite. National Public Radio employs agile methods to create new programming. John Deere uses them to develop new machines, and Saab to produce new fighter jets. Intronis, a leader in cloud backup services, uses them in marketing. C.H. Robinson, a global third-party logistics provider, applies them in human resources. Mission Bell Winery uses them for everything from wine production to warehousing to running its senior leadership group.” more> http://goo.gl/HoyaL8
Posted in Broadband, Business, Economy, Education, Leadership, Net, Technology
Tagged Agile, Broadband, Business improvement, Internet, Leadership, Organization, Productivity
3 Keys To Building an Agile Society for the 4th Industrial Revolution
By Mike Gregoire – In 19th-century England, bus companies, dependent on horses to pull their carriages, were furious with the advent of new “horseless carriages.”
Travel was becoming mechanized — faster and more convenient. The government defended horse bus companies and introduced Red Flag Laws that set automobile speed limits to how fast a man could walk with a red flag in front of them.
Governance is not the only system being challenged by technological progress. Consider societal constructs, like education. The 4th Industrial Revolution means that the world is getting more automated — McKinsey estimates that 45 percent of paid activities have the potential to be fully automated using technology that exists in the world today.
There is a clear need to rethink the kinds of skills and ways of learning to create a world where work is still meaningful and profitable, both for the organization and the worker.
The common thread here is that to fully realize all of the benefits of the 4th Industrial Revolution, the foundational pillars of society need to catch up. That’s where “agile” comes in. more> http://goo.gl/Sa5Ya8
Posted in Broadband, Business, Communication industry, Economic development, Economy, Education, History, Leadership, Net, Telecom industry
Tagged Agile, Broadband, Business improvement, GE, Industrial economy, Internet, Organization, Regulations, Super regions