Research Gone "Agile": A Case Study on Using an Enerprise Transformation Process to Enable Agile Methods for Research Program Management

Research Gone “Agile”

A Case Study on Using an Enterprise Transformation Process to Enable Agile Methods in a Research Program

To support rapid advances in technology and quickly changing mission needs, research programs are expected to deliver new discoveries at an ever increasing pace. However, the development of groundbreaking technologies that promise to transform and improve our mission capabilities often does not take a linear path from idea generation to practical application; but rather consists of many false starts, pivots and often results in incomplete work.  Technology discoveries and new theories can easily derail a program’s current focus and require researchers to redirect their efforts. It is critical for research programs to be able to reflect, pivot and sometimes realign their goals to leverage new discoveries – and do it quickly. In other words, they need to be more agile.

 To be more agile is “to be able to change direction, to react to reality, and to be responsive to discoveries. “  Borrowing and applying agile practices at a program level can be effective in attaining these characteristics and becoming a more responsive program. For a research program, greater program agility reduces risk and can facilitates the movement of research ideas to usable innovations;  but introducing and adopting agile practices requires a substantive change in how research programs, as well as research teams, are managed.  

As consistently documented, successful adoption of agile practices and truly attaining organizational agility requires a change in organizational culture. The program’s structure must support agile methods, agile culture, and tools. As part of the Multimedia Research Program’s migration to agile practices and ultimately attaining program agility, the team took the Program through an enterprise transformation process, implemented several agile methods, as well as tools, and slowly evolved the culture. This case study delineates the transformation process used, the agile methods implemented, and how they were specifically tailored for the Program. We will describe what worked, what didn’t work, as well as the issues that emerged, and lessons learned.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

It is a briefing style presentation

Learning Outcome

The audience should get an understanding of the transformation process that needs to take place to align a program's organizational structure to support agile practices.  They will also become familiar with the agile practices that can be implemented within a program to allow the program to be more flexible and responsive to changes and achieve maximum impact.

Target Audience

Program Managers

Prerequisite

The audience should be familiar with agile terms.

schedule Submitted 4 months ago

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    rosa heckle - Research Gone "Agile": A Case Study on Using an Enerprise Transformation Process to Enable Agile Methods for Research Program Management

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    Research Gone “Agile”

    A Case Study on Using an Enterprise Transformation Process to Enable Agile Methods in a Research Program

    To support rapid advances in technology and quickly changing mission needs, research programs are expected to deliver new discoveries at an ever increasing pace. However, the development of groundbreaking technologies that promise to transform and improve our mission capabilities often does not take a linear path from idea generation to practical application; but rather consists of many false starts, pivots and often results in incomplete work.  Technology discoveries and new theories can easily derail a program’s current focus and require researchers to redirect their efforts. It is critical for research programs to be able to reflect, pivot and sometimes realign their goals to leverage new discoveries – and do it quickly. In other words, they need to be more agile.

     To be more agile is “to be able to change direction, to react to reality, and to be responsive to discoveries. “  Borrowing and applying agile practices at a program level can be effective in attaining these characteristics and becoming a more responsive program. For a research program, greater program agility reduces risk and can facilitates the movement of research ideas to usable innovations;  but introducing and adopting agile practices requires a substantive change in how research programs, as well as research teams, are managed.  

    As consistently documented, successful adoption of agile practices and truly attaining organizational agility requires a change in organizational culture. The program’s structure must support agile methods, agile culture, and tools. As part of the Multimedia Research Program’s migration to agile practices and ultimately attaining program agility, the team took the Program through an enterprise transformation process, implemented several agile methods, as well as tools, and slowly evolved the culture. This case study delineates the transformation process used, the agile methods implemented, and how they were specifically tailored for the Program. We will describe what worked, what didn’t work, as well as the issues that emerged, and lessons learned.