“To lead a digital transformation, CEOs must prioritize,” argues a recent article in the Harvard Business Review. “CEOs feel pressure to find and deploy the right technology as fast as their budgets will allow. Many are discovering, however, that becoming a digital leader isn’t simply a matter of technological savvy. It’s about creating an agile organization that can detect what type of change is essential and respond quickly with the most competitive solution.”
Agile is something of a buzzword in business today, with many organizations turning to Agile methodology to add value to each phase of a project. In fact, 94 percent of organizations who responded to The 9th Annual State of Agile Report said they are practicing some form of agile development. Among Agile’s principles are a focus on self-organizing teams and on satisfying the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software – each of which help the organization respond to changing market needs quickly and foster a culture of continuous improvement. At its core, “being agile” is a matter of perspective:, it's not about some practices or a set of rules, it’s about how disciplined principles are applied to achieve strategic objectives.
True digital transformation through an agile approach requires buy-in from the top. Because such a cultural change is so massive, it is beyond the influence of all but the most powerful CIOs – it requires that the CEO – the entire C-suite, really – understand and respect the principles that underpin agile methodology. Without top-level support, companies find themselves facing a barrier of understanding and communication between those doing Agile work and the leadership at the higher levels of the company driving the work.
Even organizations that introduce some of the most innovative solutions often fail to deliver them as a full transformation. In additional to technical complexities, full-scale digital transformation may meet internal opposition – employees who resist change or middle managers who are hesitant to give up control and share “their” departments’ resources. While pursuing employee buy-in is important, it still does not always translate into employee empowerment. To create a culture of continuous improvement, leaders must impress upon their teams that flexibility and speed are essential and that mistakes will be made.
This new business process will produce a more streamlined, efficient operation. In doing so, it enables game-changing transformation – the type of transformation that drives competitive advantage.
Contact ProKarma to see how agile practices can capitalize investment and deliver business value.