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
Posts Tagged 'IT-leadership'
The expanding investments in people and the retracting investments in people precede the economic business cycle of boom or bust. In other words, when companies begin to re-invest in people, productivity increases, creativity soars, new products appear and new customers are engaged. When companies pull back on people investments, sales start to sag, productivity declines, product introductions slow to a trickle and soon the business falters. The faltering of business is usually obfuscated initially by the drive for efficiency and financial engineering of the books but the employees reflect the dropping corporate barometric pressure. Rumors fly, people begin to hang out at the water cooler to commiserate and speculate about what is going on. High Read more
Dear Agilist, Everywhere I go I hear the same thing: “Culture and management are the major impediments to enterprise agile adoption.” Indeed, hundreds of us recently sought out the annual industry conference presentations and panels on how to change management — and culture — to facilitate the agile organization. I propose you and I stop hoping for management to change. Instead, why don’t we become the change we want management to be? That’s right, become a manager! Why the heck not? Here’s my reasoning. If you are skilled in the disciplines of: Prioritizing based on value, quality, and risk reduction Self-organizing cross-functional teamwork Transparent communication Making work visible Limiting work in process Feedback loops for sensing Read more
For several years now, so many pundits, experts, and concerned citizens of the IT world have prattled on about IT alignment with the business. So much so that whenever you hear any phrase that starts with “IT must be aligned with the business,” you already know what’s coming next. Yawn. What we often don’t talk about — and really should — is how each employee has (or has not) aligned him or herself with their own skills and interests and their current role. I contend it is here that most organizations struggle at every level, from the top executives on down. Which is worse: misaligned people or misaligned IT organizations? Is there a difference? When Read more
IT organizations devote significant attention to delivering the technology and processes that ensure the achievement of business objectives. It’s what we do in IT. It’s the recognition that drives our actions. It’s our purpose for existing. Yet is it sufficient to simply deliver value without any executive recognition for that contribution? IT best practices require that we not only deliver on the promise of IT, but that we also take the necessary steps toward recognition of that value so that the business “buys IT.” This marketing-style approach allows IT to remain adequately funded, gain support for technology investments, obtain backing for critical IT initiatives, and ensure responsiveness to our dependencies. Marketing IT Is Not a Read more
Excellence is an old topic, more honored in a book than observed in the workplace. Nonetheless, it is an important topic because of some almost unbearable forces that are shearing the workplace. IT may be lowering barriers to entry in many industries allowing new, smaller firms to find a home, even for a short while, and threatening larger players. But despite the thousand flowers blooming, IT-intensive markets tend to get dominated by a few very large companies, with fast-growing upstarts that are getting too big for their britches getting mercilessly culled in this economic Darwinism. But things aren’t as rosy for even these large firms. Firm life expectancy is shortening over the 20th and now Read more
If you’re new to technology management, then much of what appears in this Advisor may strike you as opinionated, cynical, and arrogant. But if you’ve been at IT for a while now, you’ll see the contents as accumulated wisdom. This Advisor is for those who have been in the trenches for a long time as well as for those who want to jump right into the advanced course in gonzo technology management, skipping the pleasantries of undergraduate interning at your average consulting firm or within the discontented ranks of your typical struggling company. The assumption here is that the business technology relationship can be widened and deepened to yield significant business value. But there are land mines Read more