Digital Transformation

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This lesson is from Digital Transformation Handbook by John Palfreyman

Five faces of agile

‘Agile’ means being able to adapt quickly and easily to change.

The opposite of agile is rigid or inflexible, ignoring change when it occurs is akin to burying one’s head in the sand.

Five faces of agile
Source: Digital Transformation Handbook by John Palfreyman
  • Strategy

    • must incorporate agility so the organisation can adapt to inevitable changes in external conditions.
    • This is referred to as ‘strategic agility’
    • Strategically agile organisations
      • make strong strategic commitments whist having the awareness and the
      • flexibility to change these commitments if things change.
    • Organisation that lacks strategic agility
      • will set strategy and
      • follow it irrespective of external change with potentially disastrous consequences.
  • Transform loop

    • loop embodies agile as a continuous, incremental way of delivering digital transformation
    • as the organisation learns, and outside conditions and internal capabilities change over time.
    • The main transform loop also incorporates several ‘loop back’ opportunities.
      • For example, as the organisation learns about new technologies and applies these in practice
      • the learnings will be used to adjust transformation priorities.
  • Build

    • Agile makes its next appearance when the organisation experiments as a way of finding out if a technology can solve a particular business problem.
    • At this step agile as a method of system development is applied,
    • characterised by the division of tasks into short phases of work and
    • frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.
  • Architecture

    • Once the technology application is proven at the experiment step,
    • subsequent plan and build steps must integrate the solution with the organisation’s pre-existing systems
      • in a way that increases the net agility of the businesses systems landscape.
    • This protects the organisation’s ability to continuously change as the transform loop iterates over time.
  • People

    • The people involved in a changing organisation must be agile enough to be ‘up for it’
    • embracing the digital evolution of their working practices,
    • rather than fight against it becoming antibodies to change.
    • If this important aspect of digital transformation is neglected, experience shows that the initiative is most likely to fail.