@SCALE

THE AGILECRAFT BLOG

Value Engineering: Managing Your Innovation Portfolio with Outcome-Based Bets

Posted by Barry O'Reilly on Sep 6, 2018 1:50:46 PM

Steve Elliot, the AgileCraft CEO, and I recently conducted a webinar on Value Engineering – if you missed it, please take a look here. This practice is new to many, and yet is truly lean way of maximizing your innovation portfolio, products and investments. We had such an incredible response to the webinar, that we decided to jointly publish a white paper which goes into much more detail about how to implement Value Engineering in your organization, along with some real success stories. This white paper can be downloaded for free in the AgileCraft resource library. 

Read More

Topics: value-engineering, agile at scale, Enterprise Scaled Agile, enterprise agile, portfolio-management

Steve's Top 10 #WorldsMostAgile Humans List

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jul 10, 2018 1:09:18 PM

In my last post, I covered the seven characteristics of what being #WorldsMostAgile means to me. These were inspired by a group of humans that have had or are currently changing the world with their ability to think and act with agility. So without further ado, I’ll introduce you to my dream team roster of #WorldsMostAgile humans, divided into two categories:

The first list includes the immediate movers and shakers who are currently tearing it up out there on the front lines, in the throes of their immediate transformation successes. The second list covers the lifetime achievement awards, for leaders who have changed the world in over the course of their long and influential careers

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, CIO, enterprise agile, agile at scale, strategy, lean agile, leadership

The 7 Attributes of the #WorldsMostAgile Humans

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jun 25, 2018 12:43:42 PM

At AgileCraft we like to have a little fun, and one night, after we were up late building out the new website (I sure hope you like it!), we did a little joshing around about what agile superheroes might be able to do. Could they jump 50 release trains in a single bound? Could they groom a backlog using mind powers? Photoshop, a few beers and some stock photos of millennials with impressive beards got involved, and, well, we ended up with this tongue-in-cheek portfolio of the #WorldsMostAgile humans. And hey – if you can think of any superhuman agile powers, feel free to submit them to add to our collection! 

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, CIO, enterprise agile, agile at scale, strategy, lean agile, leadership

The Perils of Marketplace Apps and Heavy Jira Customization – Advice from Atlassian and Steve

Posted by Steve Elliott on May 30, 2018 2:27:09 PM

Atlassian recently released a terrific, yet cautionary, article and infographic on strategic ways to prepare for scaling Jira to the enterprise. They shared some pretty mind-boggling statistics on the size and scale of their enterprise-sized customers’ Jira instances. As a Jira fan, my eyebrows raised so high they nearly left my head when I read the statistics around the sheer scale of what enterprises are doing with Jira at the team level:

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, CIO, enterprise agile, JIRA, atlassian, agile at scale, strategy

AgileCraft Named a Strategic Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant

Posted by Steve Elliott on May 9, 2018 12:31:10 PM

I’m very pleased to announce that we’ve been included in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Agile Planning Tools as the top visionary offering a comprehensive solution for large-scale organizations aspiring to embrace Agile and DevOps. This is the first time we’ve been included in a Gartner Magic Quadrant, and we are honored that we’ve been chosen for such a prestigious position.

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, ROI, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, capacity planning, CIO, Fintech, devops, enterprise agile

The Quest for DevOps Repeatable Robustitude* in a Scaled Agile Transformation

Posted by Steve Elliott on Mar 22, 2018 1:15:10 PM

Innovation.  Speed.  Quality.  Value.  Today’s tech savvy customers demand these from the companies they support. If your organization can’t deliver on those expectations, consumers are just a single mouse click away from another company that can fill their order in a millisecond.  Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon, put it this way; “Our customers are loyal to us right up until the second somebody offers them a better service.” When scaling Agile in your transforming organization, you need to be fully confident in the repeatable robustitude* of your delivery pipeline. The principles surrounding DevOps (people, process and technology), play a key role in that journey, and front and center is automation around testing, continuous integration, and continuous delivery.

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, ROI, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, capacity planning, CIO, Fintech, devops

The Best of 2018 Predictions on Digital Transformation

Posted by Steve Elliott on Feb 15, 2018 1:09:29 PM

Now that January is behind us and I have been able to read up on all the latest predictions for digital transformation in 2018, I wanted to highlight some of my favorites that resonated with me and I think they will resonate with you also.

  1. By the End of 2019, DX Spending Will Reach $1.7 Trillion Worldwide, a 42% Increase from 2017 –IDC Top 10 Worldwide Digital Transformation (DX) Predictions
  2. By 2019, All Digitally Transformed Organizations Will Generate at Least 45% of Their Revenue from "Future of Commerce" Business Models -  IDC Top 10 Worldwide Digital Transformation (DX) Predictions
  3. 20% of CEOs will fail to act: As a result, those firms will be acquired or begin to perish. –Forrester 2018 Predictions – A Year of Reckoning
  4. By 2020, five of the top seven digital giants will willfully "self-disrupt" to create their next leadership opportunity. Gartner Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond/ Pace Yourself, for Sanity's Sake
  5. Individuals are increasingly asserting their desire to communicate and collaborate however they want, using their choice of tools. Employees ─ particularly millennials don’t just prefer to use their own devices, they also want to use their own applications. –Dimension Data Top IT Trends for 2018: digital workplaces
  6. Digital disruptions … show no sign of being reduced in frequency or impact. Instead, those who seek value from technology-based options must move faster as their bimodal IT efforts move into high gear. –  Gartner Top Strategic Predictions for 2018 and Beyond/ Pace Yourself, for Sanity's Sake
  7. Over the next 18 to 24 months, we will likely see CIOs begin reengineering not only their IT shops but, more broadly, their approaches to technology. – Deloitte Insights Tech Trends 2018 -  The symphonic enterprise
  8. By 2020, we expect that the ‘new normal’ operating model will be customer- and context-cantered. That is, companies will change the way they interact with their customers based on the context of the exchange. They will offer a seamless omnichannel experience, through a smart balance of human and machines.- Financial services technology 2020 and beyond: Embracing disruption
  9. Seventy percent of healthcare companies are looking to digitize their operations in order to facilitate growth. While healthcare organizations see the value of digitalization, just 3 percent have completed digital transformations across their enterprises, while 54 percent of the organizations are testing or piloting digital transformation programs. - SAP Digital Transformation Executive Study: “4 Ways Leaders Set Themselves Apart"
  10. And one last one from me - 2018 will be the first year AI is truly harnessed in large scale enterprises to optimize software delivery and accelerate digital transformation.  

Hear more about AgileCraft’s adoption of Artificial Intelligence in our latest press release on our mission to optimize enterprise agility with machine learning.

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, ROI, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, capacity planning, CIO, Fintech

Scaling Agile with JIRA Plugins: the 1968 Alfa Romeo Solution to Scale

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jan 31, 2018 4:55:46 PM

It’s like that time you saw that gorgeous 1968 Alfa Romeo Giulietta for sale on Craigslist – truly a thing of beauty, with all the bells and whistles one could want. It even has a brand-new paint job, new aftermarket headlights, and a cool new stereo. The owner is selling it for dirt cheap, and insists it’s ready to go, . It’s like the mythical Craig of Craigslist crawled right in your head, figured out your dream car and plopped it right into your search results. Excitedly, you mention it to your favorite uncle, who happens to be a very smart, old school auto mechanic.

Read More

Topics: Scaled Agile, JIRA, ROI, atlassian, Agile, Digital transformation, Enterprise Scaled Agile, capacity planning, Agile Metrics & Measurement

Principal Financial Group – Leading the Way!

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jun 30, 2016 10:42:07 AM

 

I recently caught the new article in CIO magazine on how Principal Financial Group made the leap to transform their organization to Agile for digital development. [i] First of all, kudos to the Principal Financial team for recognizing the importance of switching from Waterfall to Agile development.  For a company with over 2,600 IT professionals just making that decision to begin the transformation is a significant accomplishment. 

As shared in the article, Principal realized that in order to deliver what their insurance, retirement planning and asset management customers needed, they couldn’t continue to follow the Waterfall path any longer. Instead of waiting for the “perfect app” to be produced, they made the decision that Agile was the only clear path forward. Principal didn’t just transform their processes to improve overall productivity, they went all in. They implemented hackathons to kick start new projects, shifted to bi-weekly sprints instead of every other month meetings, implemented new tools to help accelerate the transformation and even reconfigured their office space to promote collaboration among IT.

With the rich advantages of implementing an Agile workplace like faster feedback cycles, problems identified earlier on, higher potential for customer satisfaction, faster time to market and more, I am still surprised how often I encounter a large enterprise that is hesitant to go all in with Agile.

Principal is leading the way by aligning corporate strategy with the execution of the development teams to drive strategic value. The Principal team didn’t stop there; they go well beyond that. Not only do they understand the importance of leveraging Agile principles, but they also clearly understand the critical need to supplement Agile execution of the teams with effective management/oversight/rollups at the Program, Portfolio and Enterprise levels. 

Here is the realization that every large enterprise will reach sooner or later… You, Company XYZ, are now a software company.  Embrace this and vow to be excellent at building software or risk letting others gain the competitive advantage.

A quote shared in the article from Principal CIO Gary Scholten summed it up best. "I don't know how you could be successful in the digital world in waterfall." We don’t either.

At AgileCraft, we deliver the most comprehensive software solution available for scaling agile to the enterprise. AgileCraft transforms the way organizations enable and manage agile productivity across their enterprise, portfolios, programs, and teams by aligning business strategy with technical execution. To find out more visit us at www.agilecraft.com or follow us on twitter @theagilecraft or download our latest whitepaper An Insider's Perspective: Bank of America

 

[i] http://www.cio.com/article/3088136/agile-development/financial-services-firm-adopts-agile-for-digital-development.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: Enterprise Scaled Agile, Scaled Agile, Digital transformation, Waterfall, Innovation, Software Development, Agile

Don’t get Stuck in the 80s (Hair Bands Excluded)

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jun 15, 2016 9:52:51 AM

 

 

 

The 80s were a big deal to my generation.  The 80s shaped my earliest memories.  I cherish the dawn of the personal computer, video games, hair bands, rap, break dancing and so much more from back in the day.  In terms of how to drive culture I have held on to literally nothing that was embraced in the 80s.  For culture I look to the last 15 years of innovation for inspiration.    

In terms of management culture what has changed since the 80s?  Just about everything.  In addition to the changes with the attitude of a servant leader, middle management’s role in development, self-organizing and rewarding teams versus individuals … a culture of continuous measurement with rapid feedback loops to adjust the plan for maximum results also has a significant impact on culture.  This is especially true when turned inward to the employees of an organization.

Did you know that John Deere measures employee engagement and morale every two weeks?[1] A company that achieved earnings of $1.94 billion in 2015 reaches back into their immense employee base every two weeks. That’s 26 times per year they are successfully conducting employee engagement surveys. So you may be wondering why such an intense focus on the employees every 2 weeks?

The reason …happy employees make happy customers. Employee measurement is the easy part, but that raises the next question: how do you create happy employees? The answer in my view is to implement an Agile methodology and mindset.

So, how does that translate into happy employees and a great culture? Imagine if you were working on an assembly line and you never got to see what the final product was. Day after day you did your part and completed your part of the task. Six, nine or even twelve months later, you were still working on the same product.  You didn’t know what others were doing and you didn’t think the broader company was aware of your efforts. Yes, you may have been rewarded for your efforts along the way, but don’t you want to see the final product? The fruits of your labor? Well that’s were Agile changes the game.

In Agile, “The highest priority is to satisfy the customer”.[2]  Agile is worth the price of admission because it enables companies to drive better results. Agile allows for increased flexibility, which enables teams to better react and meet their customer’s needs.  To leverage a famously overused cliché from Walter Gretzky (Wayne’s Dad), companies want to “Skate to where the puck is going, not where it has been.”

Agile generates increased visibility of IT led activities within an enterprise. It creates an environment that promotes an inclusive culture through collaboration.  This results in a culture that not only requests, but welcomes inputs into projects from all business units within an enterprise.  Agile done right creates a culture that allows for experimenting and more importantly, collaboration.

Unlike other methodologies that rely on a project plan with features and goals set at the beginning of a project, Agile follows an incremental, iterative path. Agile allows for changing requirements over time. Based upon early and often feedback, the team can determine if they are headed in the wrong direction and quickly pivot. This results in eliminating the development of features that customers no longer need or want, while also eliminating the frustration within the development team.

By living and breathing in an Agile World, enterprises are more productive, able to respond and react to customer’s requests, increase internal visibility, and improve employee engagement and satisfaction. Ultimately, it results in happy employees.

So whether you refer to it as a mindset or a methodology, we all understand moving to an Agile environment isn’t easy and it isn’t a magic bullet. When your enterprise makes the decision to embrace Agile, the benefits reach farther than just the technology; it reaches to the people and ultimately the culture as well.

So put on a good hair band, grab a big white board and then design your internal feedback loops for a better culture.  Just remember to iterate on your internal process frequently and be relentlessly repetitive with messaging to the entire organization the benefits of a lean / Agile culture.  The result is a highly transparent culture that is always on the lookout for ways to better engage the team and by extension the customer.

At AgileCraft, we deliver the most comprehensive software solution available for scaling agile to the enterprise. AgileCraft transforms the way organizations enable and manage agile productivity across their enterprise, portfolios, programs, and teams by aligning business strategy with technical execution. To find out more visit us at www.agilecraft.com or follow us on twitter @theagilecraft or download our latest whitepaper An Insider's Perspective: Bank of America

 

[1] https://hbr.org/2016/05/why-john-deere-measures-employee-morale-every-two-weeks

[2] https://www.Agilealliance.org/Agile101/12-principles-behind-the-Agile-manifesto/

 

 

 

Read More

Topics: Bi-Modal, SAFe 4.0, Enterprise Scaled Agile, Culture