Oh, digital is fun! It brings so much more artistry into the realm of IT. Take SAFe (Scalable Agile Framework) as an example. SAFe has “strategic themes” instead of just straight ol’ “strategies.” It has themes and their variations - like in music and dance.
It has “epic” – think “Lord of the Rings”, “Gilgamesh”, and “Odyssey” (although here I’d rather think “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” – love the music). And “story points” takes me back twenty years ago reading “Goodnight Moon” to my daughter. And, of course, there’s the “agile release train” – ART for short. That says it all.
Who doesn’t like digital with its color and playfulness? It’s so much more fun than dull words like “project,” “requirement,” “phase,” and “milestone” – there is no shortage of drudgery here. Yet even traditional project management deserves our attention because the digital business revolution is being built by programs and projects that are both Agile and waterfall, the former targeting enterprise architecture (EA) elements (for example, applications) as products to be delivered by IT, the latter being the traditional project management approach in IT delivery. And we will find both in the increasingly bimodal IT organization; mode 1 – stable, reliable and low-risk – for managing legacy, smooth and steady processes and mode 2 to make us more agile than our competitors – needed for business innovation and customer engagement.
Any successful transformation to digital business has good management and governance of project work, as well as non-project work, as a pre-requisite. In order to sync both types of work within a planning and governance framework, PMO, EA and IT portfolio management organization siloes need to be broken down to work with an integrated, holistic approach. This enables IT project managers and IT product owners to better plan and monitor resources and deliverables – and to understand the dependency of the two. It also facilitates both project reliability and agility and allows faster progress on the digital strategy.
But deciding on Agile investment in the first place - even that presents a problem when a lack of connection between corporate strategy, business capabilities, the IT portfolio, and plans for and cost of change keeps investment decisions relying on gut-feeling and erring down wrong paths. But a strategic portfolio management system with program and project management capabilities connects these moving parts to each other. It uses road-mapping to guide program and product planning and delivery and to keep everyone in sync moving forward.
So though digitalization may not wildly stir your imagination or get your feet tapping, there is an art to managing it. Watch our webinar - “Managing projects in the digital business age” and find your inner digital creative genius.