Apply Agile Principles at More Strategic Levels
In today’s world it’s not enough for organizations to do Agile, they have to be agile. The ability to apply agile principles at more strategic levels of the business is critical to creating an enterprise that is able to adapt and adjust to emerging threats and opportunities, and then implement those adjustments with minimal disruption and maximum effectiveness.
A Central Agility Hub
There are a number of formal models for scaling agile to things like strategic planning and investment funding, portfolio and program management, etc. All of those models have merit, but achieving an agile enterprise at scale isn’t about models or frameworks, it’s about a mindset – a way of thinking that encourages people to adapt and adjust to shifting circumstances. It requires an environment where stakeholders and teams can recognize when adjustments are needed, and where they have the ability to make those changes seamlessly in order to keep priorities, work and outcomes optimally aligned.
Achieving that requires a coordinated effort across all business areas and functions, between leaders and work teams and across operations, current initiatives and planned work. And all of that requires a central agility hub, an organization function accountable for ensuring this enterprise level agility is encouraged and maintained. That’s where a strategically focused PMO comes in. As part of effective management of the strategic portfolio, the PMO has to be able to encourage and support scaled agility, and it needs the tools to help it achieve that.
Insight Drives Action
Scaled agility requires information. And more than that, it requires the ability to convert that information into insight that drives effective and timely decision making. With KeyedIn Enterprise PMOs have contextualized insight into what is happening in all discretionary initiatives, regardless of how that work is being implemented. Combined with leadership insight into how the organization’s operating environment is evolving, it is easy to understand where adjustments may be needed, and to model different approaches to making those adjustments in order to understand impacts on budgets, resources, dependencies, etc. That allows for better decision making in less time, supporting the idea of an agile enterprise.
But there’s more to it than that. KeyedIn Enterprise offers integration with the rest of an organization’s technology infrastructure. This allows PMOs to identify opportunities to take advantage of opportunities that might otherwise be missed. Whether it’s higher than expected resource availability, budget underutilization, or opportunities to apply innovative approaches to deliver better solutions in less time, with the ability to gain insight into these opportunities, and a mindset of agility across the entire enterprise, PMOs can drive greater returns on investment and higher overall performance.
One of the keys to scaled agility is the ability to constantly adapt and adjust. The world doesn’t change in convenient annual or quarterly cycles that helpfully align with an organization’s preferred planning approach. Instead, there are continuous disruptors impacting the ability to deliver, innovative technologies creating threats and opportunities, and emerging scenarios that require analysis to see whether a response is needed.
When a PMO can combine powerful planning and management software with a culture of agility, it becomes much easier to assess the implications of these shifting circumstances and to determine how, or if, to respond. Scaled agility provides the ability to make these shifts continuously, not to be forced to wait until scheduled planning cycles. KeyedIn Enterprise allows for the analysis of potential changes, supports decision making around the most appropriate course of action, and the communication of any changes through updated strategic roadmaps, adjusted investments, revised work items, and more.
Empowered Autonomy with Control
One of the most effective tools for driving agility at scale is the ability to place decision making as close to where work is happening as possible. When work teams are empowered to operate with a degree of autonomy – asking for forgiveness instead of permission when making changes to their work, organizations are able to truly become agile. The elimination of delays, the improved alignment between the people with understanding of the work and the decisions around that work, and the focus on delivering to needed outcomes rather than the traditional triple constraint, all improve the chances of success.
However, that autonomy has to happen within a controlled framework. Scaled agility isn’t an unmanaged free for all, rather it’s the freedom to make decisions and drive changes within the context of the organization’s strategic priorities, within an acceptable risk framework, and with the confidence that there is an effective PPM solution helping to align objectives, investments, work and outcomes. When an empowered PMO has access to such a tool, the ability to scale agility to strategic layers of the business, and to deliver more work, more effectively and efficiently, can be achieved and maintained.
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