There are three steps to Enterprise Agility. We outline them in our eBook, “Enterprise Agility,” which was crafted by Nikhil Desai, the Presales Director for Application and Digital Services at Stefanini. Check out the excerpt below!
We have explained the concept of Enterprise or Business Agility. We have identified different areas Agile Enterprises focus on and the frontiers they seek to conquer. We will now describe our Agile-based methodology or approach as a necessary guide to assist with the ambitious Enterprise Agility or Business Agility journey. Through our methodology, we will describe our point of view as it pertains to the right mix of activities and focus for each of these three frontiers (described in the section above) based on the specific phase of the product evolution. As part of our methodology, we also will describe the necessary adaptation of the Agile methods for each of these three frontiers. For each of these frontiers, we also will describe the role and skill compositions, also known as a Squad. We recommend this methodology to organizations seeking to achieve the overarching goal of Business Agility or Enterprise Agility on a scaled Digital Transformation methodology that engages Business and IT stakeholders.
We define these phases as Engage, Accelerate and Scale, with a feedback phase implemented right at the outset to provide necessary insights. Each of these phases require participation from appropriate stakeholders who hail from business and technology.
The Engage Phase is the initial phase of an Agile-led Digital Transformation; this step forms the foundation for the cross-functional organizational model involving Business and IT stakeholders. Business stakeholders and cross-functional teams in an Agile enterprise “own” the engage phase and the responsibility of starting the Digital Transformation on the right note.
Cross-functional teams achieve the most important outcomes in the Engage Phase through successive Concept and Design sprints that are based on the right adaptations of Agile principles and philosophy:
1. Organization Ecosystem – This is made up of cross-functional business teams engaging in defining and validating a product concept as illustrated through UI wireframes and customer journeys that address changing customer needs. The Engage Phase deploys Design Thinking methods and tools like customer journeys, an empathy map, and more to define and validate the product concept. A concept sprint helps an Agile Enterprise transition to a product mindset from the more traditional project-based mindset.
2. Technology Ecosystem – This involves Enterprise Architecture teams that approve of a cloud native, product architecture with the right technology choices designed to leverage the full potential of the Automation lever. It also addresses time-to-market requirements and seamlessly supports future scalability requirements.
3. Core Product – This includes a rapid technical prototype to validate the technical feasibility of a product concept and a product roadmap comprising of features and epics prioritized into multiple product releases, including the minimum viable product. Product features and epics are developed through multiple iterations and feedback loops that engage the customers and product owners.
A successful Engage Phase resists the temptation of embarking prematurely onto a technical product development phase. Instead, it provides the clarity and purpose of the Digital Transformation. Agile enterprises recognize the value of this phase and successfully adapt the Agile principles and philosophy with well-crafted concept and design sprints, each with its own definition of “done.” The objective of these sprints is not to produce enormous technical documentation (as in a traditional waterfall model); rather, the objective is to deliver crucial Design Thinking artifacts like a user journey, an empathy map, MVP canvas, UX wireframes, and more.
A successful Engage Phase builds the foundation for the Accelerate Phase by enabling an Agile Enterprise to deliver successive releases of products in an accelerated timeframe. Using an iterative Agile methodology, the enterprise strives to make progress and integrate on all three frontiers described above.
1. Core Product – This involves an Iterative Agile Sprint methodology to deliver periodic product releases to the customer, starting from the Minimum Viable product. There is a great amount of focus on execution excellence; the success of individual sprints are measured once they have successfully met the definition of “done” during each sprint review. Agile KPIs on velocity, throughput, and rework are measured/tracked for continuous improvement on successive sprints.
2. Technology Ecosystem – Here, the percentage scope of automation on the software engineering and product development value chain is continuously increased. Process automation and continuous engineering practices such as continuous integration, continuous testing and continuous deployment goals are aggressively pursued. A continuously evolving technology ecosystem that automates the processes increases the velocity and throughput of the two week Agile sprints. Automation deliverables are also planned and part of the core product sprints.
3. Organizational Ecosystem – In this phase, the enhanced product and capability set should be harmonized into the overall business context and the business model. For example, developing an intelligent product should serve as a substitute for human tasks and it is very important for the business model to incorporate this new capability. Incorporating the capability into the business model might potentially mean displacing or repurposing existing staff members. This is an important step and a critical element influencing the success of the Digital Transformation effort. There is an organizational change aspect related to this dimension that should be addressed through an enterprise-wide organizational change management program that is facilitated through Organization Change Management Consultants.
This phase closes on feedback loops to generate necessary insights and the processes required to incorporate them in-order to scale and address the entire target market segment. “Scale” here refers to the ability to significantly increase market share and address any obvious bottlenecks/improvements for improved Agility.
The organization closes the feedback loop at each of the following frontiers:
1. Core Product – This scale stage closes the feedback loop by generating necessary performance insights and digital customer experience feedback. The “launch to learn” feedback at the core product level delivers the ability to understand customer behavior. Customer behavior and digital performance analytics deliver significant insights to an enterprise and learning opportunities. By closing the “launch to learn” feedback, an Agile enterprise is able to assess the intended versus emergent outcomes of the Digital Transformation strategy
2. Technology Ecosystem – In this phase, technical debt and technology bottlenecks limiting the flow and efficiency of the product engineering and development processes are identified and addressed through the appropriate architecture changes. This feedback loop typically kicks off some modernization activities, including the rewrite of legacy to cloud native architectures or replacing legacy stack to a modern day technology stack that is more amenable for automation and process control.
3. Organization Ecosystem - Closing the business model to the product loop in the organization ecosystem enables an Agile Enterprise to reconfigure its product or product portfolio mix based on the market feedback or insights generated from the business performance. A nimble enterprise successfully makes these adaptations to respond to market feedback. More importantly, it develops the capability to deliver the necessary insights through the application of the right tools and techniques.
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