Agile IT is the new sexy.
Don’t get me wrong. It has always been around. But with the rise of digital transformation, it has taken on a renewed urgency.
For example, Domino’s Pizza has repeatedly said that the reason it was able to beat the competition was a result of its investment in building a more responsive IT organization.—an IT function that heavily relies on Lean, Agile development and DevOps best practices.
But what does it mean to be a faster, nimble, and more responsive IT?
Agile IT Characteristics
Based on our experience, it comes down to the following characteristics:
- Bring new software/functionality to market quickly—all the way from idea to production.
- Experiment first mindset. Cut big ideas into small projects (MVPs) and deliver iteratively.
- Deliver experiences not just features.
- Measure success in business impact, not IT KPIs. This applies to both the idea and the teams.
- Create small, dedicated, cross-functional teams. They are more nimble than functional silos.
- Reward individuals based on their contribution to team goals (i.e business KPIs).
- Decentralize decision-making.
- Make continuous improvement part of the company culture. Failure is learning, not something to be punished for.
- Create short feedback loops so that you can be responsive.
- The sum of the parts is greater than the parts. Speeding up development and not operations drives minimal benefits.
So how do you reboot IT capabilities to get them to be faster, nimble and more responsive? It’s more than just investing in new technologies; it’s about defining new ways of working. It starts with how work is defined and structured, how it is performed and how success is measured.
In our next article, we will go into more details on the new ways of working, including explore how IT needs to change its mindset, set up new operating models and measure itself differently.