How to build a sustainable, future-proof agile delivery organization

To adapt to the new normal, most firms are on a journey toward end-to-end agility. But how can we make “Agility” stick and be more sustainable, knowing that business change will only occur faster, not slower?

After completing my computer science degree, I started working with Olivetti back in the 80s. That was 20 years after the glorious Ing. C. Olivetti invented the world's first personal computer (which very few know about). This clearly changed widespread perception of computers as these dangerous monsters occupying huge rooms that you would rather stay away from. Instead, sitting on a desk, now anyone could use a computer. A revolution started, and the rest is history. 

I remember, however, that in those days, change was slow and strategic thinking was long-term. And to be sustainable, software systems, applications, and architectures had to last long and persist over time. 

Fast-forward to 2020, and everything has dramatically changed. Sustainability, besides green and clean, means that what we build today has to be easily and quickly changed tomorrow. Strategic plans are short-term, and planning and change are continuous. What about the future? No signs of slowing down. To adapt to this new norm, I know only of a few firms that are not yet on a journey toward end-to-end agility. They leverage agile delivery teams, learning how to work in new and more modern ways, organizing in small, organic teams, automating processes where possible, and sinking in their culture new values and principles that enable fast-paced change. 

I also know, however, of many companies that revert to old behaviors after some time, where change is just managed as a one-time effort but not as a continual strategy. They give up on modern delivery as soon as they bump into problems, reorgs happen, leaders change, or other business programs and priorities hit. 

So how can we make agile transformations more persistent to meet this need for end-to-end business agility? How can we make our systems a better fit for the future and -- to some extent (and this might sound like an oxymoron) -- resilient to negative, unwanted change stimulus? We already have a wealth of research available today that discusses adaptive delivery.  

In addition, we will be discussing how you can build future-fit organizations, adaptive delivery teams, and more during Forrester's Technology & Innovation Forum, a virtual global event on November 5 and 6.  See you there! 

This post was written by VP, Principal Analyst Diego Lo Giudice, and it originally appeared here