Enterprise agility may be at a tipping point; much like Agile delivery was in 2001. In 2010 IBM interviewed over 1,500 CEOs and published an in-depth study of their findings. “Capitalizing on Complexity” focused on what CEOs saw as the marketplace challenges and the key strategies for surviving and thriving in that marketplace. “Our interviews revealed that CEOs are now confronted with a “complexity gap” that poses a bigger challenge than any factor we’ve measured in eight years of CEO research. Eight in ten CEOs expect their environment to grow significantly more complex, and fewer than half believe they know how to deal with it successfully.”
This “complexity gap” poses a huge challenge for organizations. Proponents of Agile software delivery believe that success derives from both practices and principles, with the latter being more important. What management and executives need to battle complexity are a set of similar practices and principles, a roadmap for both “doing” Agile and “being” Agile. As Agile teams have drawn product management, operations, and others into our short-cycle, iterative, collaborative, reflective style of delivery; these practices and principles have seeped into other parts of the organization. When you see IT executives talking about their lawyers and accountants who use story cards and iterations, you realize the potential impact of Agile (and Lean) in organizations.
“The Time is Now for Enterprise Agility,” is the theme of this year’s, first-ever, Agile conference for executives. The Agile Executive Forum will be for executives, by invitation, exclusive, and focused on enterprise agility and agile transformation. The 1-day conference, a program of the Agile Alliance in conjunction with the Agile Leadership Network, will be held on August 8th in Salt Lake City, in conjunction with Agile2011. This Executive event will focus on stimulating content, connecting executives with their peers, and inspiring participants to carry their agile initiatives to the next level. The format combines keynotes by noted executives, various stages with exciting topics, World Café discussion sessions, an executive open jam, and more. Speakers include:
- Michael Amend, Executive Director, Online Engineering, Dell (keynote)
- Michael Abbott, VP Engineering, Twitter (keynote)
- Steve Sakats, SVP HR, Land O’Frost
- Sue McKinney, VP Engineering, Pitney Bowes
- Paul Chapman, SVP, CIO Gap Inc. Direct
- Steve Greene, VP, Salesforce.com
- Ellen Salisbury, VP Engineering, Yahoo!, Inc.
- Erik Huddleston, CTO, The Dachis Group
- Gary Gruver, Director of Engineering, Enterprise Laserjet Business, Hewlett-Packard
If your organization wants to elevate agility to the next level, get your senior executives involved. One way to start might be to encourage them to attend this conference! Contact me or anyone else on the organizing committee for more information.