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Digital Agility: The Rocky Road from Doing Agile to Being Agile

Digital Agility: The Rocky Road from Doing Agile to Being Agile

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Digital Agility: The Rocky Road from Doing Agile to Being Agile

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280 página
3 horas
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jun 8, 2016
ISBN:
9781483572789
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

The world is moving into the deep, deep digital new normal with wide, wide digital connectivity and tall, tall digital pillars. Agility is one of such powerful pillars to leap digital transformation and enable the business to unleash its full potential. Organizational agility is about to create and react to changes. It is about to take into account any change in the environment and transform the organization to survive, grow, and transform. It is about to respond to emergent events proactively. The purpose of the book “Digital Agility” is to:
-Share the insight about agile philosophy and mindsets
-Clarify a set of agile principles and disciplines
-Develop the best and next agile practices to scale up
- Describe potential agile pitfalls and how to prevent them
-Connect the agile dots to build a creative working environment
-Measure the right things about agile and measure them right
-Sum up agile maturity from multidimensional perspectives
-Inspire healthy debates to move agile up to the next level of maturity
Editora:
Lançado em:
Jun 8, 2016
ISBN:
9781483572789
Formato:
Livro

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Digital Agility - Pearl Zhu

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Digital Agility Introduction

Doing agile is a set of activities; but being agile is the state of mind, the ongoing capability, and the culture adaptability.

Figure 1 Digital Agility Introduction

The world is moving into the deep, deep digital new normal with wide, wide digital connectivity and tall, tall digital pillars. Agility is one of such powerful pillars to leap digital transformation and enable the business to unleash its full potential. Organizational agility is about to create and react to changes. It is about to take into account any change in the environment and transform the organization to survive, grow, and transform. It is about to respond to emergent events proactively. It is about to transform the whole organization to create a Lego like environment that you can change as you need effortlessly. The purpose of the book "Digital Agility" is to:

•   Share the insight about agile philosophy and mindsets

•   Clarify a set of agile principles and disciplines

•   Develop the best and next agile practices to scale up

•   Describe potential agile pitfalls and how to prevent them

•   Connect the agile dots to build a creative working environment

•   Measure the right things about agile and measure them right

•   Sum up agile maturity from multidimensional perspectives

•   Inspire healthy debates to move agile up to the next level of maturity

The term ‘Agile’ is derived from ‘The Manifesto for Agile Software Development’ which describes a collaborative way of working based on a set of twelve principles that has come to mean early delivery of business value. The problem is people do not have a profound understanding of Agile principles and philosophy behind a set of Agile framework or tools. Most of the times they use the word agile when in fact they are talking about agile software development. The best way to fail is thinking that you will implement agile inside a business unit without taking into account the whole enterprise. Agile needs to be the philosophy to perceive multidimensional business values. Make the effort at the leadership and portfolio level to qualify and quantify value in terms of both strategic value and tactical value; direct revenue and indirect (vision/values/culture) terms is the first step to crafting high-level strategic intents. When faced with two or more alternatives that deliver roughly the same value, take the path that makes future change easier. Once benefits of agile are visible and understood, a domino effect takes over, the organization as a whole becomes agiler.

From doing Agile to being agile is a rocky road, not a straight path: Agile is direction, not a destination. Transforming to Being Agile means the business knows the direction they want to go on, and as people start putting on the agile mindset, discover new ways of working, collaborating, delivering value, they inspect and adapt in that journey by overcoming the frictions and challenges. You have to keep things rolling, to make agile not just a methodology to manage projects, but a principle instilled into a healthy culture to run the business more effectively. To move from Waterfall to Agile is not an act of one day. It is a journey. And as long as the journey is coming to a place where we can call the organization actually Agile, Waterfall and Agile do co-exist. Some organizations stop moving and remain in the hybrid state and some just turn back to go on the previous state of the waterfall and few actually reach the destination of the Agile world. So, hybrid organizations are the reality. Agile is neither just a methodology nor a set of practices, Agile is a state of mind. It’s the basic underlying principles of Agile! You can not expect big bang mindset change so you need to start with agile philosophy and some initial practices that pay off and reinforce, a mindset change is more difficult of a change and involves coaching, training, teaching and important discussions around what Agile is to the team, department, and company.

Agile is first about doing right things before doing things right: Agile is about people and not tools and processes. Tools and processes are definitely going to be add on, in being agile, but they are not mandated to become agile. In practice: on one hand, organizations focusing on artifacts, metrics, ceremonies without ever understanding the why from the inside, will not get far. On the other hand, evangelists of agile who lose touch with business, do agile for its own sake, also won’t be successful in being agile. Agile is really about constant renewal. Develop your own relationship with the values and principles - you'll recognize anyone who has not. Often agile practices are at odds with the overall corporate or environment. Agile practices up mean more about a mind shift and a set of principles to run an agile organization. Agile principles and agile thinking would be a better bet at today’s business dynamic with increasing speed of change and uncertainty. Here is a brief summary of each chapter of Digital Agility:

Chapter 1: Agile is a state of mind: Agile transformation is a change in mindset. Agile mindset is about empathy, people-centricity, and improvement. Agile is not about free thinking or doing without structure, Agile does not take less discipline, but needs more engineering and management discipline, looking at mapping out a transformation plan with introducing change to leadership, training with a rollout plan across the organization, and pilot a team. You can not expect big bang mindset change so you need to start with agile philosophy and some initial practices that pay off and reinforce, a mindset change is more difficult of a change and involves coaching/training/teaching and important discussions around what Agile is to the team/department/ company.

Chapter 2 Agile Principles: Agility is not only the ability to create the change, but also the capability to adapt to the changes. If doing Agile is more about managing a software project which is still a business initiative to achieve business goals, and then being Agile is to follow a set of agile principles to run a business, and business agility is the upper level characteristic of organizational maturity. There is commonality between agile principle and leadership principle with three I focus: Interaction, Incrementalism and Improvement. The principles of agile can be used by individuals and non-engineering groups as well. Agile helps management immensely through the power of collaboration, transparency, and feedback. Agile is a culture as well! It is important to recognize that moving to Agile may require a significant culture change that affects the entire business. It certainly is NOT just a development thing, it’s a set of principles to run today’s digital organization.

Chapter 3 Agile Best and Next Practices: Many forward-looking organizations are shifting from doing Agile to being Agile. Scaling agile needs to be taken in several dimensions. It's not only the number of developers. There is also the number of teams, the number of sites (including onshore or offshore), the number of time zones, the number of products or value streams the developers work on, and so on. And even more importantly, how to follow the set of agile principles and practice Agile up, to build an agile leadership team or boardroom, and apply agile philosophy to run an entire organization?

Chapter 4 The Pitfalls in Agile Movement: More and more organizations are on their journey from doing Agile to being agile, and there are many pitfalls on the way: What are the biggest problems for people or companies when they decide to go Agile? What is the hardest thing when you choose that road? What are your biggest pains? What are the causes of those failures, do they fail to follow the principles, or are they failing to do the best practices? Are they failing forward or backward? Who should take more responsibility -the leadership or fellowship?Agile is often viewed as 'something for technology,' rather than as something for the business. Agility won't fix what being called technical problems. It is a way to organize work. You still have to be good at doing the work.

Chapter 5: Agile dot connections: Agility within and of itself is a strategy. Agility is not only the ability to create the change, but also the capability to adapt to the changes. And agility is about how to connect the dots in building a creative working environment and shaping a customer-centric organization. Agile is the mind shift. Agile leverages the wisdom of the masses to scale up and drive success. Agile dot-connection practices can help anyone or any group focus their attention effectively and take right actions towards a vision in manageable segments where risk, uncertainty, unknowns and fast moving markets are involved.

Chapter 6 Agile Measurement: Agile values and principles are best measured via linking what you want to achieve and top business goals. You have a set of well-defined values and principles based on Agile Manifesto. Values and principles are about what you believe and how you think. Neither of these is really amenable to direct measurement. And you will always have to tie these together to get the big picture of your organizational agility. In agile, measure directly what you want to achieve, what your organizational goals are like, such as go to the market time, cycle time to develop a feature, anything that you truly want to see results from. Some of the key measures of Agile effectiveness are creating value, timely delivery, teamwork and productivity for the work done, etc.

Chapter 7 Agile Maturity: Being agile considers the entire enterprise, not just the project. Being agile is based on systemic principles: the discipline of seeing whole which facilitates the rapid creation of business value. Being agile is dependent on the appropriate amount of up-front architecture. Being agile acknowledges and encourages the dynamics and emergent properties of the project, the project team, and the environment. In other words, agile that is standardized is not agile. Adding Systems Thinking to agile projects is always beneficial to improve agile maturity.

Chapter 8: Agile Debates: There are known known, known unknown, unknown unknown, either running an Agile project or managing a business as a whole, do not think Agile is just a software management methodology, or the rigid engineering discipline. It is a digital philosophy with a set of brief principles to run today’s digital organization. It is important to inspire creative thinking and encourage free debating, with the goals to do the right things and do them in the right way, to follow agile principles and make continuous improvement in agile practices and deliveries.

The goal of Agile Transformation is in many similar to the goal of living a healthy lifestyle. mindset is the key. Like the goal of living a healthy lifestyle is to have better health, the goal of Agile Transformation has to keep being agile, resilient, responsive, innovating, and continuously improving. Changing the mindset is the most important thing. The practices can't possibly work without that change. Agile is a state of mind based on a set of values and principles. Getting the understanding that for Agile to work, it needs to be cultural, not an imposed afterthought. Ultimately, all aspects of the enterprise from strategic planning to the most atomic level tasks must embrace agile for optimal effect.

Chapter 1 Agile is a state of mind

Agile is a state of mind, not a process.

Figure 2 Agile Mind

Almost every organization is using agile today, but the misunderstood idea is that people can 'DO' Agile only. There's not so much to 'do,’ mechanical agile will stop at some point because Agile is a state of mind. Ultimately, you need to 'be' Agile.

•   Agile is a state of mind, not a process. It’s the basic underlying principles of Agile! You can not expect big bang mindset change so you need to start with some initial philosophy and some initial practices that pay off and reinforce, a mindset change is more difficult of a change and involves coaching/training/teaching and important discussions around what Agile is to the team/department/company. Any process is inherently non-agile, to some extent, and most supposedly 'agile' processes are nothing of the kind. Processes are put in place by managers requiring control of projects, and from the classic management perspective, which is the first step in helping the team become agile? The first step is to build very good team players with the agile mindset, help the team build soft skills and help them remove e from ego and help them in making respect for each other as their second nature.

•   Figure out the WHY: To keep an Agile mindset, you should put a high effort into making them productive within the context of a team environment. The 'Why' you are doing the practice might occupy a small portion of thinking, and the practice with a large portion of your daily effort, but it’s not necessarily an unhealthy scenario. The danger is when you start practicing because 'The book said to do it this way' or 'Because we have always been doing it that way.' Practices should always be under scrutiny to see if the ones which were successful under yesterday's context are still going to be successful in today's context. Agile is not the goal but can it be a goal in order to reach the real business outcome. Without agile mindset, if team members are not able to resolve their conflicts, are they going to collaborate over problems? They might achieve individual goals, but team goal will not be achieved. If team goal is not achieved then product increment will not be done. Winning teams, not winning individuals, create winning products. Such high mature teams will be in a very good state to decide which is the appropriate tool and process to achieve results, respond to change quickly, develop high-quality software repeatedly and frequently.

•   Agile is about people and not tools and processes: Tools and processes are definitely going to be add on, in being agile, but they are not mandated to become agile. In practice: on one hand, organizations focusing on artifacts, metrics, ceremonies without ever understanding the why from the inside, will not get far. On the other hand, evangelists of agile who lose touch with business, do agile for its own sake. Agile is an open mindset, where you are open to fail and learn from mistakes. Agile is about people and not tools and processes, being agile means respectful to each other, open to other's views, being a good listener, being collaborative.

Mindset change takes time, and small successes help people move towards that mindset. It is not a bad idea to start with practices, but it’s important to change the mindset, focusing on values and principles. from doing Agile to being agile.

1. What is the Agile Mentality to Adopt Agile?

The agile way is customer-centric, purpose-driven, capability-based and talent-oriented.

Agile accelerates the flow; Agile harnesses the development of human beings to move from hierarchical thinking to collaborative, idea-driven thinking. These altitudes of thinking can be used to describe individuals, teams, programs, organizations, etc. Agile is like a journey you don’t know what challenges will come in your way. It’s unique so no one can prescribe it for you. If anyone claim to prescribe, it’s going to be an illusion. But still, there are agile principles and values, thoughts and practices you can follow and experiment, to put simply, what is the agile way to adopt Agile methodologies and practices?

•   An Agile transformation requires attention to all four quadrants of thinking -internal (Inside-out), external (outside-in) lenses, from both individual and collective angles: Workshops, creation of roles, training, backlogs, charters, practices all relate to the external lens of doing Agile. The internal (being Agile) lenses of both individual and collective are more often get ignored, and missing the collective interior lens ignores some of the biggest obstacles to transformation, such as enterprise policies, HR, organizational structures, economic systems, budgets, and people feedback loops, such as objective based management, among others.

•   Advocate an integral approach to any transformation effort: Learn the agile principles, values, and mindset so that you can start becoming effective and making the best out of the ceremonies. It's worth having a thought about why you want to adopt an agile approach and how you will measure your success. For example, if you want to be agile so that you can more quickly respond to change, then have a thought about how you will measure that capability. A lot depends on how much buy-in you have from the senior executive of your organization. If the agile transformation is being driven by the technical team you could, for example, start by making engineering changes. Then progress to making changes requires more cooperation from the rest of the organization (like using a Product Owner, doing release planning, etc.). You can't just take your team agile without engaging the rest of the organization. However, in the case where someone is proceeding at a grass root level, it's valuable to consider how to guide them to the greatest likelihood of success, while also considering the whole organism. This is particularly important when it comes to selling the agile transformation to the rest of the organization. Give them a good argument for why you are doing it and what the benefits will be.

•   Cultivate a performance-based mindset: Start with an inception/kick-off to get everyone on the same page, both in terms of concepts and practices. The transformation effort has to begin not at implementing Agile practices but to transition the people to a performance-based mindset. Only then can you begin to frame Agile from metrics, performance perspective, allowing new ways of working to be understood. That inception should include some of the training/workshops, with lots of hands-on /interactive work that is focused on your team's actual project. During the inception, craft your project charter, team charter/working agreements, Definition of Ready, Definition of Done, and other key artifacts/agreements. Plan out your first release and iteration.

•   Finally, decide on what your initial set of practices will be, as part of your team chartering: Don't go overboard. There will be time to add more in. Overloading will create frustration and delays. Study, practice, fail sometimes but fail-safe (check the length of your steps), all in all, build it day by day, by improving here, simplifying there, rethinking there, and so on. Also worth doing some background reading on the various agile frameworks (Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc.). Have a think about which seems best suited to your particular setup. Keep the team engaged and interested, if you leave them alone, they will revert back to old habits. Bad habits do not die, they get replaced with good habits.

The agile way is about adopting both strategic thinkings to focus on business purpose and customer value; and systems thinking for capability measurement, cross-functional communication and collaboration, robust processes, incremental improvement and more.

2. A Hybrid Digital Mind: Agile Critical Thinking

Critical thinking has the potential to be a deeply creative process.

Digital is the hybrid era, the physical world is blurring with virtual world; the work life is blurring with personal life, and to dig into the mindset, the hybrid thinking can combine different thinking patterns in order to analyze and synthesize for more effective problem-solving. How about Agile thinking meeting with critical thinking, Agile can imply to creative, strategic, self-reflective or collective, etc. what’re the advantage to apply such hybrid thinking to overcome today’s challenges?

•   Critical Thinking to recognize that logic and reason alone is inadequate: Logic and reason alone maintain low ceilings and there is not much possibility for sustainable problem solving. If logic and reason were the keys, all problems would have been solved long ago. One's own critical thinking ability or skills are only part of the equation since your judgment is affected by the corporate culture, imperfect information, competing agendas, etc. The practical reality is that taking

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