Tuesday, September 3, 2013

CIO's Agile Practices in Managing IT Complexity

Agile is the practice for both eliminating unproductive complexity, and enforcing productive complexity.

Businesses become over-complex and hyper-connected today, agility is the ability of an organization to sense opportunity or threat, prioritize its potential responses, and act efficiently and effectively. More specifically, what does Agile mean for IT and business, how does CIO leverage agile in managing IT complexity?

  • Agile is the practice for both eliminating unproductive complexity, and enforcing productive complexity: There are two types of complexity: unproductive complexity and productive complexity as well: Unproductive complexity includes such as bureaucracy, silo walls between functions, and confusing matrix designs, resistance to change, workforce constraints, slow decision-making, complex administrative processes and competing incentives; growing misalignment between the needs of the organization and the processes supporting it.etc. Whereas productive complexity includes such as design complexity or highly productive complexity --employees interacting as they create value from intangible knowledge-based assets, invisible but powerful learning agile culture, and cross-siloed business collaboration, or make macro-systematic complexity such as regulations more value added. 
  • Agile is focused on the practice of complex human responses to complexity in social environments: So the promise of its application outside requirements capture and programming sprints in software engineering are much greater than that of the mathematical approaches to physical systems.Agile could be seen as the social practice of complexity theory, and as such there are two aspects of the same reality and contributions on two complementary levels to dealing with the same issues. Respond to customer requests quickly and Make sure problems are really resolved. 
  • Measure IT customer satisfaction, IT performance and take action based on the measurements. Well design the right set of KPIs to make complex IT services accordingly, the goal is to present IT value, not confuse customers; business-focused, rather than internal IT-driven, Practice Agile for iterative communication and continuous improvement. Establish Service Level Agreements (comprehensive, but not overly-complicated), that are highly responsive to the needs of customers, business and external customers and make sure the SLAs are consistently being achieved under both clouds and an on-premise environment.
    IT projects are complex and costly, IT leaders need to build a strong relationship with the entire senior management team via agile principles -iterative communication and cross-functional collaboration, so that they understand and support IT for resources needed to support the business effectively, as you can't be agile when you don't have the right resources, as well as removal of organizational impediments and issues to agile adoption. IT is complex, practice Agile to ensure that IT is continuously talking with customers to understand and respond to their problems and requirements for applications, hardware, networks (access, response time, etc.). Provide a customer-centric business solution, IT customer training, communications with IT customers, etc. enables customers to perform their jobs effectively and improve overall organizational agility.


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