Clay Richardson and Dave West (definitely the two snappiest dressers at Forrester) opened the second day of the Forrester Business Process and Application Delivery Forum with a keynote on thriving in a process-driven world by shifting both your business and IT culture. These shifts are hard work and fraught with risk, but necessary in order to achieve transformation. It’s critical to lead change, not just manage it, by creating change agents inside your organization.
They discussed some tools for doing this: identifying value streams that can point everyone in the same direction; using process as a common language for transformation, although not necessarily a common process representation; extending agile thinking to the entire enterprise; and lean governance that starts at the top but pushes down responsibility to empower teams to make decisions.
To achieve agility, it’s necessary to align business and IT into integrated process teams and adopt agile processes for those integrated teams, as well as selecting tools and architectures that support change.
Good governance is less about telling people what to do (and what not to do), and more about educating people on why they need to do certain things and empowering them to make the right choices. Many successful organizations adopt not just centers of excellence, but build communities of practice around those CoEs.
Since Richardson focuses on business process and West on agile software development, this was an interesting hybrid of ideas that spanned both business and IT.