Be digital in 2018: be agile everywhere!
Agile is in fashion. To deliver their digital programs, companies have ended up, sometimes not without reluctance, by switching to agile development.
The advantages are undeniable. To name only the most obvious, the fact of making sure that we stick to the evolving needs, of not discovering after a year that what is delivered does not correspond to the specifications, of showing the internal customer or external that we advance instead of leaving a long tunnel effect to suggest that we are doing nothing.
And then indirectly an interesting effect on the management of change. Rather than a big big bang, new functionalities are introduced gradually and the user has to adapt less. Small steps rather than a big leap into the void.
Even if we know that digital is not just a question of tools, or even especially not a question of tools, the way of producing them is still important.
Now the way in which agility is implemented in business still leaves much to be desired. Already because everyone is not as mature as we want to say on the subject and many companies only practice a “light” version of agility still poorly mastered and have not yet been at the end of the process. Then because only the production teams are concerned.
We therefore have a client who iterates with a team at the rate of the week. A team that gets organized and exchanges during daily points. But what about when for one reason or another it is appropriate to escalate an issue, make a decision, arbitrate or resolve a problem at a higher level?
Well there we radically change the pace. We are waiting for the next meeting to talk to the people concerned because we do not have time to meet them beforehand due to already busy schedules. So we wait 15 days or a month before reporting the problem. State only, sometimes other meetings will be necessary to resolve it. Worse, sometimes it will be necessary to go up a level, with people even less available who meet even less often. And who therefore decide even more slowly.
And then the information still has to come down.
And during this time? Those who have to produce are at a standstill or moving in the wrong direction while they wait.
I had approached indirectly in a ticket on teleworking the issue of agile management and its generalization to all of the company’s businesses. Why shouldn’t the principle be generated in all business lines, support and management functions?
Already because no matter the profession there are projects to be released, no matter whether the rendering is digital or not, totally or in part. And the imperative to meet deadlines, costs and check that we remain aligned with the need exists, whether we are a developer, HR or marketing.
Then because at the speed at which things are going today it is impossible that within a team, important information and problems do not go back to the manager at least every day, for information or for him. to do things in hand to solve them.
Finally, because it is not sustainable over time to have a company that advances at two speeds with management time that is not time for execution. It is also not possible to have two models of organization and management that coexist without getting stuck at the interfaces, in particular for speed issues. I’m not even talking about the simple issue of exemplarity with those who deliver who see that others do not apply the same rules and constraints as them, see them subject to their slowness.
For all these reasons and without doubts many others in 2018, it is time for agility to leave the cellar and generalize to the whole company.
Bertrand Duperrin is Digital Transformation Practice Leader in Emakina. He was previously Consulting Director at Nextmodernity, a firm in the field of business transformation and management through social business and the use of social technologies.