For well over a decade, leaders around the world have been encouraging software teams to embrace Agile development practices. The success of many of these teams has moved some leaders to extend their Agile approach to other parts of their organizations, allowing them to achieve true Organizational Agility. That’s the good news. The bad news is that in numerous industry surveys, issues related to Leadership have been identified as some of the top reasons that many Agile transformations have struggled. In the more successful transformations, Leadership has often been credited for being a major part of the success. So what can be done to help more leaders engage in successful transformations? An upcoming issue of Read more
Tips on being a better leader and creating great leaders within the organization.
There’s hardly an organization that doesn’t strive to be innovative. But even well-managed companies struggle with it. Cutter Senior Consultant Borys Stokalski and Bogumil Kaminski report there are typically two points of failure for establishing a working innovation engine: Point of Failure 1: Lack of Clear Innovation Governance According to Stokalski and Kaminski, while companies think hiring creative people will automatically result in innovation, that is seldom the case. Instead (in addition?), you need to ask questions about the type of innovation that is required by your business strategy, that is, you need to engage in innovation governance. Innovation governance is critical to organizing for efficient innovation. How do you do it? Consider questions like, Read more
From time to time Cutter Senior Consultant Jens Coldewey talks with middle managers who started their Agile journey some years ago and are unhappy with the results. Here’s his advice: If you start changing an organization toward an Agile mindset, there’s no real end. Agile is about creating an organization of continuous learning and the transformation is done when there is nothing new to learn, which will probably be never. This puts an enormous challenge on middle management. In most organizations, lower management is responsible for actual delivery, upper management is responsible for keeping the organization prepared for the future, and middle management is responsible for stabilizing the organization. Now continuous learning means that Read more
Cutter Consortium has been conducting a survey to gain insight into how organizations are adopting — or planning to adopt — blockchain technology. We are also looking to identify important issues organizations are encountering (or foresee encountering) in their blockchain efforts. In addition to analyzing the data, Cutter Senior Consultant Curt Hall has been conducting phone interviews with leaders and practitioners from different organizations who are implementing or working to implement blockchain applications. Their opinions and recommendations on using the technology add depth and richness to Curt’s analysis. Curt will be presenting his findings in a series of Executive Updates over the next couple of months. Hall’s first Executive Update, published last week, examined the initial survey Read more
According to Dr. Stephen J. Andriole, Cutter Fellow and Professor of Business Technology at Villanova University, most professionals think digital leverages emerging technologies. However, Steve Andriole’s experience tells a different story: “The truth is that most transformational leverage comes from operational and strategic technology rather than emerging technology. This is because many business models and processes are antiquated, as evidenced by the relative ease with which, for example, Uber and Airbnb cut directly into the taxi and hotel markets. Of course, there are countless ways emerging technology can improve — and even disrupt — processes and even whole industries, but the real leverage lies with operational and strategic technology, especially when they are leveraged together. “Does this mean that Read more
“Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra.” Steve Jobs attributed this quote to a famous conductor in the film Steve Jobs. It’s hard to come up with a more vivid illustration of leadership. It acknowledges that conductors may be less adept at playing instruments than any of the players in front of them — and other instruments not at all — yet they elicit brilliant performances. I have been told by a San Francisco Symphony musician that guest conductors can in a few rehearsals have the orchestra sounding like the orchestras where they are based. Leadership, per Webster, means “the quality of a leader; capacity to lead”. In recent years, the word has become Read more
Cutter Fellow Bob Charette’s 2013 assertion that The STEM Crisis is a Myth inspired quite a bit of discussion in education and industry, which has apparently not subsided! In STEM Literacy and Jobs, wsj.com blogger Irving Wladawsky-Berger taps Charette for his thoughts on the STEM jobs “crisis.” When it comes to STEM, the discussions have mostly focused on STEM jobs rather than STEM literacy, and in particular, on whether we have a STEM crisis or a STEM surplus–a debate I recently wrote about. A number of articles have pointed out that, as is often the case with such complex questions, both sides are right. It all depends. STEM includes a variety of disciplines, degree Read more