Information Technology organisations worldwide want to be more agile and to be able to respond gracefully to uncertainty. However, this goal is very rarely achieved and is often discarded as the day by day pressures set in. The urgency of issues often take precedence over the good practices that enable IT departments to deliver in an agile way. We at LeanIT have been engaged by a large government organisation to implement the digital delivery side of Bimodal and can assist you if you are considering this practice. With Bimodal IT the CIOs can efficiently increase the speed and agility of their department thus helping their organisation be successful in today’s rapidly changing and demanding environment. The success of Bimodal IT will eventually move the whole organisation forward.
What is Bimodal IT and why is it necessary?
The majority of Lean or Agile implementations within organisations are constrained in their ability to deliver value to the business. Within large organisations we find isolated pockets of agile individuals and teams that struggle to deliver their solutions within the constraints of the existing policies and practices. Bimodal IT has two modes, one is the conventional mode and the other is a new mode where the team works outside the constraints of the first mode. The first mode is centered on predictability and a step-by-step approach, while the second mode is focused on being agile and flexible. The second mode starts on small and greenfield projects, and then slowly grows and becomes the major way of working within the organisation.
The world continues to rapidly change and demands organisations to change with it. However, typically the Information Technology department becomes the constraint to change and holds the organisation back. If as an IT department you are struggling to respond the technology demanded by the business and that the business is starting to bypass you to build their own technical solutions, then Bimodal IT can help. By implementing Bimodal IT you will be able to rapidly change and meet the needs of the business. Then the organisation as a whole can respond to uncertainty and explore new opportunities.
How to start?
Typically Bimodal is started with a single and focused project without requiring too much input from the business. With this project CIOs can start to nurture and develop Bimodal capability over time within the organisation.
First of all, you need to find people who have the proper mindset of delivering rapidly and those who accept uncertainty, this is where we can come in to help. Secondly, you need to create a separate governance structure based on these principles so that the team that is setup is not constrained by the traditional mode of working. Thirdly, you need to setup Agile based teams and train these teams in agile and kanban. We recommend setting up an Kanban Portfolio and then run your teams under that as either Kanban or Scrum teams.
Bimodal IT starts within the Information Technology department, and under the budget of the CIO. The projects are funded by IT and maybe only experimental at first. As the team builds up skills in this way of working, the business will start to see the benefits and will want to reap the benefits of this new way. Slowly the business will accept the changes they need to make in their funding and budgeting model and will start to trust the IT department. As they become more confident, larger pieces of work will be able to be delivered by the agile based teams and the business will start to become flexible and adaptable to the changing business environment.
We have experience in working in one of the largest government organisations in New Zealand. We have been tasked with setting up the Digital Delivery side of the Bimodal practice. With this experience we understand firsthand the struggles of this type of practice and can assist in smoothing out the delivery of a dual speed approach.
Bring us into your organisation and we can help you set up this new mode of working. This will enable you to deliver in a rapid and agile way. If you want to move from being the constraint to the enabler of business change, then contact us.