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    May 30, 2024

    Unifying Strategies: CIO's Guide for Balancing Agile and Non-Agile Workstreams in Digital Transformations

    ESD_FY24_Academy-Blog.Broadcom Knights Enable Clarity Modern UX Users to Reduce Costs, Drive More Revenue.Figure 1Analyst firm IDC predicts Chief Information Officers (CIOs) will focus on spearheading organizational changes in AI adoption, automation, and data analytics this year. To ensure success for these and other projects, CIOs must drive transformative change in project and portfolio management (PPM), allowing the best project or software development methodology for any given project.

    Project and portfolio management is often perceived as the “old world.” Today CIOs need to think about how they can bring PPM into the new age and manage that transition to agile. Typically, there is a gradual transformation for specific teams, release trains, value streams, etc. As a result, CIOs need to manage their portfolio with parts in the old world and parts in the new world.

    As a ValueOps Broadcom Knight, I take a holistic, customer-centric approach to helping organizations make this transition. We first think about the enterprise processes and culture alongside modern tooling support. Value Stream Management can bridge the gap between the old world and the new world by providing unified visibility to streamline the flow of value through different departments, different work modes, different infrastructure elements, teams, and more.

    Agile vs. Waterfall: Navigating the methodology maze

    The coexistence of agile methodologies and traditional waterfall practices for PPM has become a defining reality. Each methodology has its merits, but the real challenge emerges when they must work in harmony. The question arises: Should established, stable software components be transitioned to agile methodologies? And the answer isn't always straightforward. Many CIOs opt to retain the stability of certain parts of IT by employing classic methodologies while exploring agile for other initiatives.

    Although both can exist in parallel, it is important not to compromise agility within agile teams, who need to rely on waterfall teams. The first negative scenario is called “scrumification” of waterfall: Instead of embracing agility's iterative and adaptive nature, projects are forced into predefined phases, hampering flexibility and responsiveness. Another negative scenario uses “SCRUMFall”, the implementation of agile SCRUM projects within projects in a broader waterfall environment. Here, isolated agile teams operate amidst a waterfall backdrop, creating communication gaps, misaligned timelines, and difficulties in integration. Both exemplary scenarios underscore the importance of genuine agility and highlight the risks associated with hybrid approaches that fail to respect the core principles of agile methodologies. They shall, at most, be used during a transition period.

    Despite challenges for the teams, the undeniable fact remains that effective PPM plays a pivotal role in organizational success, regardless of the methodology. Unifying portfolio management with projects running different methodologies is where the breakpoints become obvious to the CIO. Usually, project management offices are then tasked to collect team data, aggregate and more or less manually update the project status and compensate for lacking synchronizations between the tools.

    The call for unified portfolio management: ValueOps by Broadcom

    A significant hurdle lies in the tools at our disposal. Most existing solutions cater solely to either agile or waterfall practices, leaving organizations in a state of disarray. This fragmentation translates to disjointed processes, teams operating in silos, and a lack of unified steering tools. The result is a struggle to communicate across methodologies, misaligned timelines, and scattered metrics. Organizations need a solution that unifies their project and portfolio management efforts across methodologies, providing a cohesive view and streamlined governance.

    Broadcom’s ValueOps solution is designed to transcend the boundaries that differing methodologies typically create and allows organizations to change underlying methodologies whenever appropriate, without affecting the business. At HCLTech, we recently supported a prominent U.S. financial services institution with one significant issue in its agile transformation journey. As a result, $51 million of our customer's tech budget could be freed up and reallocated towards much more strategic initiatives.

    Initially, this transformation was to be solely done within the IT department and the customer was not sufficiently involved in the business-side of the house. We suggested how we wanted to fix this to move forward. With our structured approach, we facilitated the heads of departments to talk to each other and bridge the gaps between business and technology, as well as between team, program, and portfolio levels.

    ValueOps provided visibility for strategic alignment between business and IT. In addition, we complemented the tooling with digital advisory and coaching at both executive and team levels. The outcome was impressive—a growing number of agile teams, harmonious collaboration between once-disparate teams, substantial cost savings, and a strategic realignment of IT budgets.

    What’s next: embrace transformation and a unified view

    Imagine a world where teams collaborate seamlessly, metrics are standardized, and every project aligns with strategic objectives—regardless of methodology. ValueOps establishes such harmony amidst diversity.

    As we navigate the journey of modern project and portfolio management, let's remember that a unified approach with unified visibility is not just attainable, it's imperative. It's time to demand solutions that bridge gaps, empower teams, and steer organizations toward a streamlined delivery of value. The path ahead is clear –– embrace transformation, drive program unity, and lead your organization toward a future of unparalleled success.

    Learn more about ValueOps by Broadcom

    Learn more about HCLTech CIO Advisory Services

    David Jungwirth

    Dr. David Jungwirth leads CIO Advisory and the Broadcom Knights team at HCLTech. Backed with 15 years of technology leadership expertise, David is passionate about implementing value stream management across agile and classic project management and bridging the gap between business and IT. He is a Certified Scaled...

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