Even the most experienced agile IT teams have a hard time keeping up with the rising demand for new business applications. When it comes to supporting these teams, Jeff Sutherland – co-creator of the widely adopted Scrum development methodology – says “it’s all about adaptability.”
The problem is simple: Yesterday’s enterprise technology is too rigid to support today’s demands for new and improved business applications. In fact, the fastest-moving enterprises around the world all have one thing in common: They don’t let today’s investments in technology slow down tomorrow’s innovations. These enterprises practice agile methodologies outside of their development rooms and IT organizations – they adopt agile as a philosophical imperative, enterprise-wide.
This slideshow features the seven principles, identified by Mendix, that allow the world’s elite organizations to maintain market leadership in highly competitive industries by embracing adaptability as a key growth enabler.
Click through for seven principles for highly agile organizations, as identified by Mendix.
Agile enterprises prioritize their systems by pace layers, or the speed at which they need to adapt. They don’t let systems of record (like ERP or CRM) get in the way of differentiating and innovating applications. While systems of record are vital to everyday business processes, they require substantially more resources to change. Agile enterprises take advantage of rapid application delivery frameworks to build new innovative applications on top of their systems of record.
Agile enterprises acknowledge the Pareto Principle, wherein 80 percent of a project’s effects come from 20 percent of its causes. With this in mind, they start executing with high-level requirements, knowing that feedback on each iteration will further shape their idea. Rather than getting caught up in the details of a new project, agile enterprises start executing with a high-level strategy and develop their concepts iteratively.
Agile enterprises are resourceful in their pursuit of innovative applications that enable them to maintain their market leadership. They continuously renew value in past technology investments by extending existing systems of record with new user interfaces, built-in business logic, and augmented data structures that streamline and automate inefficient business processes. These enterprises don’t have the words ‘rip’ nor ‘replace’ in their vocabulary.
Agile enterprises are always on the hunt for development synergies that save time and resources. Sharing and re-using application components in a central and secure enterprise app store assures that time spent building new applications is time spent creating new business value – not reinventing the wheel. Agile enterprises spend their resources carefully; that means never building anything from scratch when someone else in the organization has already built it.
The exponential speed of technological advancement reflects the compounding nature of innovation. Agile enterprises know this and utilize new technologies to make their own technology better, faster, smarter and more adaptive. They build the pursuit of innovative technologies into their overall innovation process. Companies that fail to adopt new expertise and tooling ultimately fail to push their own technology forward at the rate their market requires.
Agile enterprises bring an iterative methodology to all of their projects. They create a feedback culture that rewards product owners with valuable insights and fosters cross-functional collaboration. These teams release early, and release often, knowing that requirements and priorities will likely have changed by the time they’re ready for their next iteration. The consistent capture of new feedback enables agile enterprises to continuously adapt their systems and processes.
There are members of every organization that hold expertise in multiple disciplines, demonstrating a propensity for technology as well as their particular business function. Agile enterprises know that this perspective has an advantage in conceptualizing and executing innovative applications. Whether they come from IT or business backgrounds, these ‘superheroes’ are recruited, conditioned, and tasked with turning innovative and differentiating ideas into reality.