Agile +

To turn really interesting ideas and fledgling technologies into a company that can continue to innovate for years, it requires a lot of disciplines.

Steve Jobs

Organizations, whether a business, non-profit, or pubic service no longer continue to function as “Normal” as they have in the past. While Customers, Citizens, Consumers and Clients expect more value in less time; we sit in the digital age of a pandemic. In order to survive, we must adapt, lead and innovate with a focus on value at velocity.

In the past innovation used to be driven by passion, poverty, profit. Today we are not waiting for someone to disrupt us and stop us in our tracks, we are disrupted and dealing with extreme uncertainty. The pandemic, extreme climate change and age of uncertainty are some of the new drivers, partly out of desperation to keep our business, our services or our products relevant.

Why Discipline Now?

Why Steve Job’s quote above? The reason is simply we need disciplined leaders, staff and partners to drive, adopt and implement the change needed to continue being successful. Our business must become agile, not just agile in software development, or in the IT department; the whole business meaning, our people, our processes and our tools. Our businesses are commonly referred to as Systems. Our business-driven by people are different, complex and thus we call businesses “Complex Adaptive Systems”. We just can not look at one business or even the structure of it and understand how that business works.

I have been fortunate to be involved in many innovative “firsts”, such as the first wireless city network in Canada connected to the internet in 1993, the first airport check-in self-service kiosks in 2000, the first 4G device management platform and services in 2007, first AI big data real-time Insurance system in South Africa, 2009, and several firsts at Heathrow including the first connected (A-CDM A-TAM) live deployment of realtime Airport. Innovation was important, not a “do or die” situation that we find ourselves in today.

Making real, transformative change happen in any organization is difficult and most concepts are restrictive, prescriptive, a “one-size fits all” approach. This is why Agile typically stalls, “every business is different, teams and divisions are different”. This means that public, private, non-profit or any organization is a “Complex Adaptive System”. Therefore you can not buy a “framework”, especially since many are team-based, creating silos. These so-called frameworks many times focus on one group of people doing things one way, without thought to context. The Agile Manifesto is focused on Developers & User which results in agile stalls with SCRUM, SAFe and others.

The bottom line is, to achieve innovation and make our business a success in the age of uncertainty we need solid, tailored, useable and implementable ways of working that bring real value, fast through business agility. This means that our Leaders and Staff need are empowered to change, make goals clear and achievable using a guided, people, process and technology approach. This is a new mindset which I am sure, many have heard over the years.

Agile+ Merging of Disciplines

Agile+ (Agile plus), this a multi-disciplinary tailored way for your organization. This is the recipe that needs to be created, cooked and served for your company. Agile+ is truly transformative business agility across your enterprise, that is adaptable and achievable. Agile+ is achievable because it uses empirical, measurable and proven ways of working that are deployed in small batches. We refer to these small batches as MBIs (minimal business increment) which is the smallest amount of value that can be realized. While I referred to business agility around 2016 as Enterprise Agility we have improved business agility by adding OCM+DA, this means we start with a roadmap based on strategic goals while we prove value in our teams in projects, tactically. Agile+ enables agility across every department, every leader and staff, right down to agile customers. Every stakeholder is enabled to utilize the mindset and tools to take advantage of value at velocity.

Artist

Agile+ is the Artist and Art or the left side of the brain engaging in Organizational Change Management (OCM)

Scientist

The Scientist or the right side of the brain adopting Disciplined Agile

Inventor

When the Artist and Scientist meet, we get the Inventor, and together we create a Guided, Innovation and Improvement where change is planned, enabled and deployed. This is both a top-down and bottom-up approach.

We Can Help!

We can not force change; however, we can not stop change either. If Business agility is still elusive, needs refinement or is stalling, we at Tactec can help. The true innovation comes from the Art+Science tailored to your organization’s DNA, and your innovation becomes part of your transformation.

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CIO

Born 1965, San Antonio, Texas and lives in Dallas, Tx.
Mr. James, Ronald, Maverick holds a Bachelor of Science in Phycology at The University of Texas, San Antonio.

Mr. Maverick or JR as many call him is a “slick” but warm and friendly character in our upcoming book on the DevOps Mindset. Mr. Maverick cares about his IT team very much and could charm the socks off a Texas Longhorn. JR is liked by many in his organization; however, he is not as well trusted by the Overlords as he used to be. Mr. Maverick has a group of loyal staff, including Mr. Barker a bit of an opposite to JR. Of course, Mr. Barker would never call him JR; he would only call him Mr. Maverick because well, Mr. Maverick is his boss. Mr. Maverick has held many IT positions in the past, including starting as a Sales Professional for HP and IBM mini and mainframe computers. Over the years he has risen through the ranks to hold this senior position by delivering using high-paid consultants and Big name firms. He also received his promotion from outsourcing to a foreign country where he was able to reduce his IT spend significantly. Recently he has discovered (actually this was made painfully aware to him by the Overlords) that both the Offshore roadmap and use of external consultants was not giving him the value and velocity for his IT department, and he was probably paying more than he bargained for

So, after hearing a talk at a DevOps event by the Agents of Chaos, JR decided to enlist them to help with their digital transformation roadmap and help improve the value, focus and velocity of his department. However, MR. Maverick has a few ideas about agile and DevOps, something he has heard about for a while and read in various CIO magazines; he thinks of these as Marketing terms and something that can be bought. While Mr. Maverick has held on for many years to traditional IT ways of working he has come to the end of his tenure if he doesn’t do something fast and get DevOps working quickly as he has promised to the Overlords providing him with a little more rope to get the transformation completed more quickly as they view his IT department ageing, procrastinators who are not able to keep up with business demands. JR says in his mind, “I will get it done, they don’t call me Maverick for nothing!“