When the business environment is complicated, complex or chaotic, evolutionary Agile Business Transformation is more appropriate than large scale revolutionary programmatic business transformation.
This is the second white paper in the Agile Business Transformation series focusing on organisational change. These two white papers are written by Peter Measey, Radtac CEO and Agile business transformation expert. Peter uses his 20+ years of experience to share knowledge and practical examples, coupled with independent research from the industry.
While the first white paper in the series deals with the question 'Why Agile business transformation?', the second white paper discusses the values and principles that should characterise an Agile business transformation. Below you can find an extract from the white paper - download the white paper to view the full content.
This white paper will introduce my view on what I have evolved as the values and principles of effective Agile Business Transformation.
For defining the values and principles of effective Agile Business Transformation, I have used the 4 values and 12 principles model of the ‘Manifesto for Agile Software Development’ as a guideline. The outcome at the end of this white paper will be the Agile Business Transformation Manifesto.
Agile Business Transformation Values
We are uncovering better ways of transforming business by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:
Evolution over revolution
Empowered people over processes and tools
Systems thinking over silo mentality
Transformational Leadership over transactional management
That is, whilst there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
Evolution over Revolution
Sometimes revolutionary transformation is the only way forward. For example, in the UK we drive on the left hand-side of the road, however, I wouldn’t recommend transforming the country by asking everyone to drive on the right side of the road in an ‘evolutionary’ way!
However, if the business to be transformed is operating in a complicated, complex or chaotic domain (see the ‘Cynefin’ framework from the previous white paper), evolutionary Agile Business Transformation is more appropriate than large-scale revolutionary programmatic business transformation.
Empowered People over Process and Tools
In all but the smallest business transformations we are going to require tooling to support effective messaging, data-driven change etc. If we have more than three or four people involved in this situation, we’re going to require a process that we all understand.
Tools enable, processes enable. However, we can have the best tools and processes in the world -they are going to be totally useless without empowered people to use them effectively.
Systems Thinking Over Silo Mentality
The systems thinking approach (see ‘The Fifth Discipline’ by Peter Senge for one style of Systems Thinking) involves considering the whole business system end-to-end. In other words, the value chain that provides value to the customer is considered, rather than only the individual parts.
The ‘silo mentality’ implies that the organisation is focused in organisational silos, meaning there is little focus on the customer. Most of the focus is making sure that individual silos work effectively, which can significantly compromise the whole business value chain.
Agile business transformation is focused on delivering significant value to the business. This can only be achieved via a systems thinking mindset that changes the value chains, which deliver value to the customer.
Transformational Leadership over Transactional Management
Many of the management teams in place in today's organisation have got to their current position because they are good at doing today’s business transactions. Transactional management tends to favour the status quo, as that is the way they have always managed the organisation and that is the way they perceive the organisation must run.
As we aim for transformational change, we need to focus on transformational leadership, on creating people in the organisation who are able to look to the future, and to work in a transformational way leading the organisation into the future.