Agile FTW: Competitive Advantage and Happiness Through Business Agility

schedule Oct 15th 03:15 PM - 04:00 PM place Auditorium people 11 Interested

We all know the story of how the Agile ‘Software Development’ Manifesto emerged out of Snowbird in February of 2001. And we all know that Agile is still the current best practice for software development. What remains to be fully realized is that Agile has evolved to a best practice for business in general; a way of life for that matter.

I had the privilege of bringing Agile into business over the last couple years. In that time, I introduced my executive leadership team to Business Agility. After getting executive participation in the inaugural Business Agility conference in Feb 2017, we partnered together to seek the benefits of a comprehensive Business Agility adoption.

Using our corporation’s strategic planning and execution effort to exemplify, I will share with you how the Agile mindset and practices apply to business and drive the highest impact possible towards the most valuable goals and initiatives. Modern leadership and business practices such as those under the Business Agility umbrella bring a value-driven, data-driven, efficient focus on impactful delivery.

  • Revenue and growth accelerate as we focus the company’s resources on delivering in the most valuable way
  • Corporate processes lean out as we remove wasteful bottlenecks, saving money, time, and providing competitive advantage
  • Employees are more capable as corporate practices are more meaningful and less taxing
  • Back-office tools and data are integrated into a unified experience allowing real-time awareness and predictive analytics, increasing effective decision-making and enabling empowerment at lower levels
  • Employees are happier. Customers are happier. The corporate bottom-line reflects this happiness.

I am enthusiastic about the spread of Agile beyond IT. And as such, I am excited to illustrate the brilliance of Business Agility to session participants, adding examples from my most recent corporate transformation effort to exemplify the mindset and practices presented. It is my interest that participants come away with an understanding of how Agile mindset and practices benefit the corporate back office as much as they do software delivery, and how their companies can begin to benefit too by applying what they learn from this presentation.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

I designed this presentation to include a good bit of participation from the attendees. I plan to interact with them throughout the session, asking them questions, seeking their examples to share, and having them extend my experiences with their own (facilitated for brevity). I value their engagement and feel that this style will keep their attention and energy level high(er).

I just presented this session at Agile Unleashed and will also present it at Agile2018 in August. I will apply what I learn to this session, if accepted. For example, given the Agile Unleashed session, I have now modified the session to start with the Strategic Planning story earlier and then move to an abbreviated section of examples for direct applicability. That worked well with the audience there.

Would love to hear your reaction or feedback in the meantime.

Outline/structure of the session:

  • (2 mins) Introduction
  • (3 mins) A brief statement of Agile mindset, practices, and tools
  • (5 mins) Show how these (mindset, practice, and tools) fit into the business side of the corporation (with audience interaction)
  • (25 mins) Tell the story of our corporate Strategic Planning effort, including a follow-up leadership offsite, to illustrate (with audience interaction) - using pictures, specific practices, and tools to show how Agile applies to business to achieve similar outputs as software development, aligned with the same principles:

-- Our executives to see that Agile would provide them a competitive advantage and happier employees
-- The practices and tools we used for the Strategic Planning effort to create the Strategic Roadmap
-- The practices and tools we used to communicate and execute on the Strategic Plan
-- What benefits we saw from strategic planning and execution in an Agile way
-- How this extends to greater Business Agility throughout the company
-- Adding a company-wide focus on Customer Intimacy and psychological safety to deliver customer success and have extraordinarily happy customers

  • (5 mins) Provide a few examples of other Agile practices directly applied to the business
  • (5 mins) Q&A

My last two years have been dedicated to leading my company's total adoption of agility, both on our client-side delivery teams and our corporate back-office and mission support teams. While I have many examples to share of various groups adopting Agile such as Contracts, Finance, HR, etc., I think it would be too broad to talk about those groups and not enough time to share a comprehensive account of the mindset, practices, and tools they have adopted to make their work more impactful and valuable. Instead, I am choosing to focus on the story of applying Agile to our Strategic Planning effort as this allows me to cover executive leadership and a full thread through the various mindset, practices, and tools that would exemplify the application of Agile into the business side of a corporation.

Learning Outcome

The impact you can have on customer success and happiness when you align all aspects of the company to your client’s mission with a focus on delivering what it is that will make them successful

How Agile mindset and practices benefit Executive leadership and the corporate back-office as much as they do software delivery

Specific practices, tools, and integrations that can be used to enable Business Agility

How your company can begin to benefit too by applying what you learn from this presentation.

Target Audience

Those who are interested in applying Agile outside of software delivery

Prerequisite

A general understanding of Agile, and an interest in the business side of the house as opposed to software delivery, are requisite to getting the most out of this session.

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