Sunday, June 5, 2016

Digital Agility: How to Take a Disciplined Approach

The beauty is that “Being Agile” promotes great flexibility and opportunity to change.

Organizations large or small are on the journey of digital transformation. Business agility is an important capability for them to creative certain changes, also adapt to change seamlessly. Does being agile take more discipline or less? What are important drivers to agility? And which characteristics determine whether organizations are truly agile or just calling themselves agile?

Agile is about self-discipline: Discipline means embracing certain values and principles. Based on these values and principles, develop some guidelines and policies and then take a structural approach to managing business. Although discipline doesn’t mean overly prescriptive, it is critical to follow "people over process" Agile principle. In most cases, the lower-agile organizations are not in a good position to leap directly to a mature agile team structure and supporting policies and culture. Most people misinterpret the agile values as "no documentation," "no process and tools" etc. This kind of misunderstanding gives room for the confusions, Many waterfall organizations have no discipline at all. They collect requirements and then filed them in a cabinet and never looked at them again. Once things started going "wrong" (such as a new requirement emerged), there is no clear plan to get things back on track. And to deliver effectively, it’s important in using a lightweight method depends on "people over process" to enforce self discipline and assure high-quality results.

Being agile is about building a culture of continuous improvement: Agile is about doing, we learn by doing, we change as the output of that doing. Either for individuals, teams, departments, and enterprises, always have the plan to be getting better: If you don't know more and have the capability to execute better than you did six months ago, there is a good chance one or more of your competitors can. Since people are at the heart of agile,, Agile can fail and particularly because - and most often specifically because  it is erroneously planted, cultivated and modeled as just that, undisciplined and ad-hoc. Therefore, a cohesive set of insight and thinking is important to build a collective mindset and embed agility to the business culture for making continuous improvement.

The beauty is that “Being Agile” promotes great flexibility and opportunity to change: The power is in the "Change Management" which is controlled and disciplined. Organizations with that do to Agile well is the most disciplined way that you will ever deliver the right products with customer centricity. And the discipline is most needed at the leadership level where they often don't have really effective planning processes nor ways to identify their products and the value streams that they work in. Being Agile definitely isn't easy or ad-hoc. It requires focus, patience and commitment across the organization. The necessary trainings are also important to shift from “doing agile,” to “being agile.”
 -Set the system of principles and regulations to enforce agile.
- Provide training to act in accordance with principles.
-Plan activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves 'agile skills."
- Encourage behaviors in accord with rules of conduct; management, and order maintained by training and control

Without disciplines, Agile will turn to be ad hoc, but with overly rigid rules, inflexible processes, or practicing too much prescriptive agile, it will stifle innovation. The overall goal of adopting a more "Agile" approach is "resilience," in essence. It’s about advocating transparency and autonomy. A disciplined agile is the right path to scale up and run a true digital organization to achieve high effectiveness, high innovation, and high maturity.


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