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Business Agility needs leaders to put people first

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Peter Maddison
August 3, 2022

As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, business agility can create a culture that increases retention and morale. While business agility can do this, it requires that leadership puts their people first. Here are three practices to help you focus on your people.

Assess your hiring process

The hiring process is the first experience a new team member will have with your business. A hiring process that seemingly never ends or where the process isn’t clear gives the applicant a bad impression. While long hiring processes can help organizations get to know an applicant before working with them, you risk the candidate going elsewhere.

A faster hiring process that makes it clear what you are looking for shows the applicant that you’re organized and that you respect them as a person. For the employee, a faster hiring process will remove the fear of whether they can support themselves and their families.

Once you’ve agreed to hire somebody, also consider the onboarding experience and the impact t...

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You have an idea, a spark, concept of how your organization could do things better. Now all you need is to work out how. A typical pattern from here is:

  1. Realize you need more information or organizational buy-in

  2. Engage consultants to show you how

  3. Consultants leave

  4. You implement and realize all your goals!

Except step 4 so often doesn’t happen. You have the report, you’ve confirmed what you thought and have a solid plan, but at execution, everything goes wrong.

So what can you do to help your idea succeed once the consultants are gone?

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As we introduce technology into our organizations and transform the way they deliver value, bureaucracy is often cited as a common barrier. So why have it at all?

As organizations grow, the “side of desk” style of management eventually starts to fail. Communication becomes more complex as you add more people and more teams. For the company to continue delivering high-quality value, they put standards into place. Governance exists to support the continued delivery of business as usual and the satisfaction of regulatory requirements. However, too much management feels bureaucratic. What would be great would be to have just enough to support your governance needs without hindering innovation.

So how do you create your Minimum Viable Bureaucracy (MVB)?

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Today I want to talk about a common digital transformation topic I get asked about, application modernization. More specifically, how everyone is doing it but so few successfully. Typically the conversation starts with one of the following:

  • “I need to move off my legacy system, how can I use containers to do this?”

  • “How do we move to a cloud-native microservice architecture?”

  • “We’ve been told to move everything to the cloud, how do we do that with thousands of applications?”

Often, my initial answer is another question: “Out of curiosity, how did you get to this as your solution?”

Strangely, at that point, it often falls off the rails.

I’ll answer these questions in more specifically at the end, today though I want to talk about complexity and the need to experiment.

One of the biggest problems here is that these are all solutions looking for a problem. While we hope they may be appropriate solutions, hope is not a strategy. On their own, there is not enough information to provide guidance an...

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The Unicorn Project from IT Revolution, brings together a number of interesting ideas. In the coming weeks, we are setting up a series of meetups to discuss these ideas from the book and how people look to apply them to their own projects. The first meetup is here.

One of the central themes of the book is around 5 ideals. These are:

  1. Locality and Simplicity

  2. Focus, Flow and Joy

  3. Improvement of Daily Work

  4. Psychological Safety

  5. Customer First

Ahead of each of the meetups I plan on writing a blog on the topics we plan on discussing. So first up, I’m diving into the first two ideals and how they might be applied. Let’s go!

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Our role at Xodiac in helping organizations with their digital transformations is to create clarity and visibility. Especially as we believe in the importance of creating visibility as the first step in the transformation.

In fact, with seemingly every company undergoing a digital transformation, there are three main requests we are getting from our clients.

  1. Having had some initial success, how do I scale?

  2. What do I need to continue to grow?

  3. How do I know I’m on the right track to achieve my goals?

Below I’ll give an overview of what we’ve seen help with these three concerns and how visibility is so crucial to all of them.

            

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