Originally presented at SIM Connect Live 2019 (“Make Winning Normal: Maximizing Agility with High-Performing Teams”), the following concepts offer a new way for IT organizations to implement disruptive technologies and innovations at scale:
The Pace of Change and the Adoption Curve
The pace and complexity of new technologies and innovations have only been increasing over the past years and show no sign of letting up. We consistently hear the following questions from IT leaders:
- How do I maintain a competitive advantage while keeping up with the pace of change?
- How do I ensure my organization can effectively adopt new technologies?
One way to address these questions is by examining the Adoption Curve as described by Geoffrey Moore. The Adoption Curve details the distributions and tendencies of a population as it adopts an innovation.
Managing an IT project often requires working with resources across other teams—not just those fully allocated to your initiative. Supporting resources and teams can be important to the success of your project. (Ideally, all the resources you need are fully dedicated to your project. In reality, this isn’t always possible.)
How do you ensure your team can deliver results if you’re dependent on these partially allocated supporting teams?
Your company is moving to Agile from waterfall, and you want to ensure a smooth transformation that keeps projects healthy. As a scrum master working to transform a traditional waterfall SDLC process into an Agile one, I have learned a few pointers when navigating this transformation. An important concept to keep in mind during this transformation is empowerment.
One of Agile’s core tenets is the value of “individuals and interactions” over “processes and tools”. The idea is to foster a high-velocity decision making process, which hinges on open and honest communication in a co-located environment. However, implementing this change can be very difficult for team members who have previously worked on waterfall projects. You may find employees reluctant to volunteer for work, or hesitant to take on new challenges. Why is this so?
Too often, Shadow IT systems—those not authorized by IT—are used by the business to perform work. Here are a few common examples:
- A cloud storage system (such as SharePoint) may be authorized and managed by IT, but employees may use external cloud applications (such as Dropbox or Google Drive) when working with external vendors.
- A collaboration tool (such as Slack or Basecamp) may contain important information and documentation that are effectively invisible to the IT portfolio.
- Vast spreadsheets may exist across disparate programs, requiring manual reconciliation and long email chains for even the most minor changes.