Our theme in 2016 focuses on Agile in a broader business and organisational context as well as in projects and change programmes.
The benefits of adopting an Agile philosophy for business change programmes, in particular those associated with IT, are now well documented. In a 2015 survey HP’s TechBeacon asked development and IT professionals ‘Is Agile the new norm?’ Unsurprisingly the survey found that the majority of participants reported that the preference was to use Agile methods with two-thirds describing their organisation as either ‘pure-Agile’ or ‘leaning towards Agile’. Significantly, enhanced team collaboration, better software quality and improved customer satisfaction were named as the primary drivers for adoption, improvements in efficiency being secondary.
The challenges of adopting Agile have also been well documented. Often cited are resistance within an organisational culture, leadership issues and lack of executive buy-in. These and the myths surrounding Agile often influence senior management opinion.
The 2016 ABC will broaden its scope to include tracks specifically focused on the benefits and challenges of Agile in the wider organisation and in all industry sectors. It will provide the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences that will be useful when considering Agile adoption throughout all areas of an organisation. There will still also be plenty for the Agile IT community.
There will be four tracks all of which will cover Public, Private and Not-for-Profit sectors and include presentations, case studies, workshops, interactive and round table sessions:
- Agile Innovation
- Delivering Business Value
- The People Perspective
- Agile Business Transformation
‘Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower’ Steve Jobs
Successful entries for this track will describe or explore one or more of the following:
- Agile beyond the expected: how the use of Agile has driven wider benefits in business innovation and performance
- Agile beyond the text book: where the philosophy of ‘inspect and adapt’ has been key to success
Delivering Business Value
‘The world is changing very fast. Big will not beat small anymore. It will be the fast beating the slow.’ – Rupert Murdoch, Business Tycoon and CEO of News Corporation
A key driver for implementing an Agile approach is to be able to deliver value early and often into organisations. Whilst not necessarily monetary, the value should be measurable – that is there is clear evidence that the organisation has gained benefit.
In this track, we are looking for real-life experiences of making this happen – information that will be extremely useful for those either in the throes of implementing Agile or trying to sell its benefits to the organisations in which they work.
The People Perspective
‘You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and falling over.’ – Richard Branson
The Agile philosophy values individuals and interactions over processes and tools. While this does not mean that processes and tools should be abandoned, it emphasises that people are the core to success. The Agile philosophy is also one of continuous learning and improvement within a culture where shared beliefs and values can be developed. In this track we will explore how an Agile culture can be created and sustained in individuals, teams and throughout the wider organisation. Some examples of topics that could be considered are:
Agile inside HR, the Agile executive, the inspirational leader, the changing organisation, shaping the right culture, building trust, developing and sustaining a learning environment, recruiting, changing behaviours, effective collaboration, building a successful team….
Agile Business Transformation
‘Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change’ – Stephen Hawking
With the advent of the inter-connected ‘Digital Age’ there is growing pressure on the wider business (beyond IT) to act in a nimble, responsive, Agile way. In this track, we are interested in ways that an Agile approach can facilitate this and how to sustain an Agile culture throughout an organisation.