The annual budget allocated to a year-long project to develop a new solution is a thing of the past. Today’s successful companies are agile and innovate on the fly.
“Organisations globally and more recently in South Africa are realising the benefits of implementing an agile approach to transforming their business, which include improved speed to market with new solutions that have fewer defects.”
Agile methodology allows companies to innovate fast, learn from mistakes and successes, and then innovate further based on feedback received. Defects are fixed as they go along and not at the end of the process. Key to success is the ability of business and IT to work together and communicate openly. This is where the obstacle often lies.
The oft-quoted Dr John Kotter says up to 70% of change management programmes don't meet their stated objectives. Somewhat controversially, Change Logic executive head Bruce Turvey says this is not because companies fail to implement a change management programme, but rather because all too often, the project is simply just not set up to succeed.
Turvey explains: "There's no 10-step plan that you can follow to manage change in today's highly complex environments. It's vital to partner with the client to co-create a solution within their unique context. The client needs to co-own the change process and regard it as a business transformation."
He is a proponent of an agile approach to change management. One that favours outcomes and relationships over templates and tools. "The emphasis must always be on the business result, regardless of how you get there."
Is Agile is still Agile? That was the interesting topic for a panel discussion at Agile Europe in Gdansk last month. A great discussion ensued with a panel that included Ray Arell (formerly Intel), Hendrik Esser (Ericsson), Steve Holyer (independent Agile coach), Todd Little (IHS) and myself. In part 1 of this article I reviewed one huge conclusion: Perhaps the most important thing in Agile is not explicitly mentioned in the Agile Manifesto: the Agile mindset.