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How Agile enables change and transformation: Moving to the organisational dimension

By Hugh Ivory | 14 February 2017

Hugh IvoryThe term “Agile” is often misunderstood and consequently there are many interpretations of what it is.  Although Agile has its roots in software delivery, it has now grown well beyond this to be much more.  It is more than a set of methods, practices and behaviours.  Agile is about delivering value for an organisation, however that value might be defined.  In government, that value could be defined as meeting citizens’ needs; in the private sector, meeting customers’ needs; in healthcare, meeting patients’ needs.

So for clarity, when I use the term, I mean “an approach where people with a variety of appropriate knowledge and skills collaborate to deliver value in the most effective way (early and often)”.

In this context, Agile is an enabler for transforming organisations, departments and teams; highly relevant and effective for the public sector as it strives to deliver ever more value in a fast changing world.

Agile transformation requires new approaches across a number of dimensions:

  • Delivery (engineering) - where the push for Agile normally starts, from practitioners influenced by education, social media, peers, pragmatism
  • Governance (management) -  once the delivery teams start doing things differently, ways of governing and assuring are challenged to remain fit for purpose
  • Organisation (culture) -  the changes being driven from the Delivery and Governance dimensions will highlight issues with an organisation’s culture which need to be understood and addressed 

Hugh Ivory is a Member of the Agile Business Consortium and the COO at Agilesphere LLP.  Agilesphere is working with the Agile Business Consortium to develop and promote Agile business change initiatives.