Agile Transformation for Government Agencies
Hello, good afternoon,
LinkedIn Live community. My name is Charles Madox with the eye for group and I for D Government Solutions and welcome today’s webinar. Today we’re going to talk about agile in the government space. And this particular talk is going to be on key transformation tools for success that we’ve seen in person on actual site visits with our clients as well as some of the literature and research that’s out there.
In industry, alright.
Just a little bit of background on i 40. Government Solutions, we are a complete turnkey it cybersecurity company with Agile transformation capability as well. A lot of training services that you will find with the i Four group consulting company as well as our joint venture partner DK W. Communications. And there is a long history, especially through D kW communications with a lot of government agency work in the IT and cybersecurity space. So we found a good partner of ours and a good colleague of mine to partner with on further government work. And we are an ATA certified company
as well. So for today’s agenda, we are
going to talk about the problems that Agile is trying to solve and the government space just so we’re aligned on that. A little bit about the federal mandate around agile and how that came about. And then what is the transformation journey like for a government agency? And what are some of those tools, particularly trying to change this fixed versus growth mindset approach in the right direction? And then what does agile adoption in the government look like? What are the different areas that we see agile adoption happening in the government space? And then using knowledge management? As a tool for transformation? We’re going to dig into what that’s all about. And then we’ll open it up for questions and answers.
the reason why we adapt agile, so here’s kind of a telltale sign of some of the challenges that we have across industry, and not just in the government space, but also in the private sector as well. You know, these are the challenges that we struggle with, you know, dependencies between different groups within our organizations to deliver on solutions, as well as massive growth and complexity for building very large solutions, and how that can, you know, have an impact on, you know, the overall timeline and bottlenecks that we face within our delivery systems being on time. So a big issue is late deliveries, how can we be more on time and have a more predictable timeline that we’re actually tracking to, versus we call it crystal ball analysis, where it’s just up in the air, we don’t know when we’re gonna finish with this, this,
this project. Alright.
Another aspect here is we don’t have clear visibility on our processes or clear alignment on who’s doing what a big issue that we always see with our clients is roles and responsibilities, who’s supposed to be doing what let’s create the RACI chart so we can be aligned on what I’m doing versus what you’re doing and, and then ultimately, we can have more training and more alignment on these activities that I’m expected to do as a key contributor. One of the big aspects of a waterfall development was committing to a solution or a design approach to early in the game. And then that way, we’re actually designing ourselves into a corner, essentially shooting ourselves into a foot or having a lot of waste and throw away work, because a lot of the early effort that we did early on is no longer needed. And then that actually is is enhanced or enabled through the phase gate approach of software development or project management, where these phase gates actually anchor us into looking at a singular trajectory towards some type of instate whereas we need to take a more cone of uncertainty view of how the project will unfold, so that we can be more clear on our adaptations that are needed along the way and not get anchored into a single approach. Another aspect of the in the inherited aspects of waterfall process management is that we don’t typically look at is as a continuous improvement cycles that are built into it right. contradict Add to the sprint approach or the agile approach, which is, which is iterative. We see various times in which we can inspect and adapt and have retrospectives to continually improve, especially, you know, across a large organization, how do we systematically improve our processes to get better and better at delivery? Right? You know, typically in an organization, we’re working in silos, you know, this group is doing that this group is doing that you stay out of the other groups lane. And you know, but we may need to improve systematically across groups, and how do we set up those constructs in order to do that? All right. So in in the quote there by Dean Leffingwell, who’s the author of the founder of the Scaled Agile Framework is that, you know, this waterfall model that we’ve inherited is, is really only enabling some of these anti patterns in our organizations, particularly in the government, which slows things down. I mean, we’re talking about taxpayers dollars going down the drain, when we’re creating wasteful processes. adhering to these wasteful processes that are no longer are proven no longer needed. And there’s far better approaches to software delivery, which is the Agile way of working. And so why aren’t we moving more towards that, especially in these areas where taxpayer dollars are at stake. Here’s an example where we’re just comparing and contrasting why an agile or iterative approach far exceeds the waterfall approach that we were mentioning, when the waterfall approach actually was created. It was, you know, created by a gentleman how’s it created, but the first documentation of the waterfall approach was done by this gentleman named Winston Royce, he wrote a white paper back in the 70s, around this phase gated approach to software development, and, you know, requirements, analysis, design, implementation, testing, deployment, these things are your common phases of a project that any software development process would go through. And it’s very sequential. If you think about it, if everything works out perfectly, as it kind of happens in a sequence. However, Winston Royce pointed out in his white paper, and he coined the term waterfall that you should not follow this process, because there’s all these feedback loops to, you know, one of these sequential stages of the development process back into an earlier phase, right, you will find out something in verification, that was problematic way back in the requirements phase, right. So there needs to be this bite off a little piece at a time so that we can iterate through the project and reduce risk holistically. So that we’re not anchoring ourselves into creating a lot of rework, or going off the rails in the wrong direction. And we can course correct early and often, and that is been proven time and time again, especially you know, these days that that is the most effective and most risk reduction way of working on large scale software development. So
as I mentioned before, this kind of depicts what I just talked about in terms of iterating. And not following a phased gated approach, using the cone of uncertainty as a way to, you know, at the beginning of a project or an initiative, you have a lot of assumptions, you have a lot of variation initially, but over time, you start to, you know, coalesce into more certainty, more predictability in terms of what your teams are working on, versus being anchored out in this hypothetical phase gate, in a true, you know, single point trajectory, that you’re marching off into the, to the solution. Through phase games, it just doesn’t happen that way. And as a former developer, myself, I seen this firsthand. So it’s nothing new. The engineers can attest to this approach as well, building software that really the Agile was the only way to go.
one aspect that we face in the federal government space, though, is what do we do with regulation and compliance? These seem like very fixed, you know, mountains or milestones of requirements that there’s no flexibility there. Right? Agile, you know, is seemingly about flexibility and adaptation, but how are you going to flex on a compliance regulation or something like that? So that that seems to be contradictory. And that’s why there has been, historically, this assumption that agile and the federal government space are agile and highly regulated or highly compliant industries is just not a good match. And that is it’s been proven false as well. So wonder The thing that we need to look at though, in highly regulated industries is that you might not have this ability, you’re not going to be flexing on requirements like, you know, use the extreme example of building a website, for example, that you might be coming up with requirements on the fly, that doesn’t happen in a highly regulated environment. But you can be lean, and focused on value delivery, as a way of achieving the goal in this highly regulated space. So you know, Lean and Agile, those, those two things go hand in hand, and you can take a little bit of one and take a little bit of the other, but in how highly regulated industries, you know, the Agile way, the iterative way is still beneficial. But you might be taking on more lean approaches to that. And that’s a discussion for a different topic, the difference between Lean and Agile, but we can get into that later. But you might be more lean versus agile, and in a highly regulated industry. Alright, so some of the regulations that we might be facing is the medical, you know, industries or the FDA, I’ve firsthand experience in the FAA, industry and trying to work towards those requirements and achieving those requirements in an agile way. So the what it comes down to is there’s a lot of documentation,
there are there fixed
requirements in terms of data that need to be produced. And just like any feature, or any capability of the overall project that you need to deliver on that is functional. These are essentially capabilities or deliverables, along with the actual physical solution, that actual physical unit, or aircraft or device that you’re building. Alright, so that’s, that’s one way to look at it, that you treat these regulations. And you treat these compliance requirements, almost just like a feature. It’s a capability that you need to deliver on, and you either meet it or you don’t. And so that that is something that can very easily be tweaked into in terms of your process and
how you go about achieving that. Alright, so
the federal regulation around agile development. So a little bit of history on how this came about if those that are old enough, and I’m sure many of you listening in are old enough to remember the healthcare.gov fiasco, when the site couldn’t get launched, it was delayed and you know, backlogged and just a lot of issues around that. Well, when they peel back the onion and found out like, Well, what happened? How do we know how do we actually run into these, these scenarios where we couldn’t launch on time, and we couldn’t deliver on the requirements that the healthcare.gov site was meant to, to provide, you know, they actually built that thing in a waterfall way. And actually, they were anchoring in our requirements and not taking in feedback early and often and, and found out late in the game that there was a lot of rework, and a lot of issues that could have got uncovered early on, but didn’t because there weren’t these feedback loops, in their process that an agile way of working would have allowed. So at that time, they they drew up some of these recommendations for IT projects going forward that federal government recommends that, you know, if you’re building large, large scale, if you are working on large scale it initiatives that an agile way of working is the preferred method is the preferred way of going about working on these type of projects, and a lot of the solicitations and RFPs, and RFQs. And in RFIs, and all those things that come out on these, these federal sites and forecasts, they specify that they specify that they would like to see a an agile approach be applied, and not all the contracting officers and you know, agencies are up to speed on this, you know, federal government is huge, right? It’s a lot of individuals that contribute to this ecosystem. So not everybody has gotten the message, but more and more departments and agencies are getting hip to this this concept of agile development and knowing that this is the recommended approach. And for a reason it helps us reduce risk. It helps us reduce costs, it helps us deliver better solutions, you know, the whole nine yards and that’s why it is a recommendation
So, I’m gonna skip forward a little bit into government agencies that are in the mix of Agile transformation. So when I say admin, I’m calling it transformation for a reason. And the reason being is that working in an agile way, requires a different type of Thinking a tie requires a different perspective on accepting a level of variability, accepting a level of the unknown to, to go and research and learn and to act on the learnings that that you’ve acquired over a very short time span to be disciplined about these short cycles and to be hyper focused on the the, the scientific method of experimentation, inspect and adapt and apply the learnings going forward. So it’s a different style of working. So taking a big organization, or large agency through this process, it is a transformational journey. And you go through a metamorphosis, like I’m showing here on the screen, of a butterfly or an egg, into a kind of an ugly, hairy worm, to a chrysalis into a beautiful butterfly that flies and sails and, and causes a lot of value and enjoyment of, of looking at the beauty of that of that creature. So it is through this transformational journey that an organization must go through to do it well. And so I want to really emphasize that it’s just not some, you know, Johnny Come Lately, process improvement that your organization is taking on, oh, you all got to do it, you know, all you got to do is just change this process to this process. And that’s all it is that if you if you leave it up to that level of change, then you’re completely missing the boat, you’re not taking advantage of a lot of the other areas that Agile is meant to cause change in the organization, in terms of mindset, in terms of culture, in terms of focus on the customer, in terms of collaboration, across boundaries, Team boundaries, across organizational boundaries, they’re just I, you know, the list can go on in terms of how you go through this metamorphosis of the way that you work from a traditional waterfall or traditional project management way of working to an agile way of working. Alright, so it’s bigger than most people think. And so one of the key differences is how you think about it. So, you know, that’s kind of where we start out first is that people don’t think it’s a big deal. They think, oh, like I said, it’s just a Johnny Come Lately, process improvement. But no, it is a complete mindset shift. And actually, this, this infographic here was taken right out of the Department of the Army, it was on the army websites, and the link is shared below. But in their agencies, obviously, getting it and understanding that growth versus fixed mindset is kind of the crux of it. And we use this terminology quite often in the Agile space, even in the private sector, about the successful organizations have a growth mindset. They’re continuously learning. And I’m gonna use that word over and over again, a continuously learning organization, continuously learning continuously understanding that they’re going through change, and learning from what they’ve just done, and being able to apply those learnings going forward. And so, you know, this has a big impact on how we look at what failure means, you know, and I usually use, I can’t take this statement for being my original statement, but one of my colleagues shared with me what time failure is just an acronym for first attempt and learning. Again, I didn’t come up with that somebody else did so. But that’s what, that’s how we should look at it. We’re constantly evolving, innovating and coming up with new ways of working, because we’re constantly learning from our environment. Right. And that is kind of the the crux of what a growth mindset looks like. And the fixed mindset, obviously, is that mindset that does not want to change, it feels comfortable, it’s, you know, it doesn’t want to rock the boat. It fits, it’s scared of change, to be honest with you, it’s not willing to be cutting edge and, you know, take a step forward, expand the envelope in terms of opportunities that are out there. It is kind of stuck in its ways and does not want to move. So the companies that are successful, have the growth mindset because as we know, our industries fast pace, we’re moving into this digital space, where everything is online and you know, at the at your fingertips, and we want to make things easily accessible. So this world that we’re living in just speeding up so fast that you need to be adaptable. You need to have Growth mindset to survive,
and to be competitive. Alright, so going on this journey, you need to pack some tools.
And that’s what I’m showing you. Right? You know, so imagine I’m going to use an analogy here, you’re, you’re going out on a mountain, mountain hike, you’re climbing a mountain. And you could have your backpack packed full of tools, you know, just like as you’re going, if you’re going on a transformational journey, with Agile adoption, there’s going to be frameworks that you can adopt, there’s going to be certain technologies and, you know, tracking tools that you can adopt certain, you know, test frameworks that you can use, I mean, the list goes on in terms of the tools that are, that are going to be key for a lot of the tactical things that you’re going to face on this journey that you need to overcome. But I’m pointing out here to some very fundamental tools, how can how can you get on this row, and assure that you’re not going to fall off the cliff, you got to rope there that you’re going, you’re going to anchor in and into the mountain, and you’re going to make sure you’re not falling off the cliff that’s like important that you don’t die, and you got a helmet being safe, and you got some boots that you can get some traction, you can keep walking you got you got to I mean, that’s where the rubber meets the road, technically, right, you got to have some boots. And so there’s some bare minimal tools that I’m hoping to share with you that I think are very important that we point out. And that I’ve personally seen, the ingredients and the variables of success within the organizations that I’ve worked with, and really are instrumental in terms of being able to move on with that right amount of energy. So but before we get into those, the tools and detail, I want to talk about the three common areas that agile adoption has happened in the federal government space. So by the way, a lot of the content being shared here, I should mention this right off the bat, you know, one of the partnerships that I 4d solutions in the eye for group, as partner with is the UN T University of North Texas Information Sciences Department where we actually do research and agile methods and Agile transformations, Dev SEC ops as such, so a lot of the data that you lost share this deck with the audience here. It comes from actual research papers that have been done in industry. So it has been found. And throughout the studies, in the case studies published that these are the three common areas that have been impacted by agile adoption in the government space. One is obvious. And that’s kind of where Agile has started, which is the software development space, you could call that it as well. So software in it, that’s kind of the the area where agile started. And of course, you see the most adoption within the federal government space. And and, you know, local government within the software development space. So things like scrum Kanban, XP practices, these are common agile terms, that and techniques that are applied to those processes. Another fast increasing, and I think we’re getting a lot of traction within the Agile space, there is the acquisition and contracting aspects. And so what we see here is is that how we actually acquisition vendors and contractors and set up contracts in a way that the goals are aligned around agile goals. And the the Agile contracting concepts come into play and those that are familiar with what Agile contracting is, agile contracting is a way where, well, one of the values of our agile system, by the way is
customer collaboration over contract negotiation, that’s a value system in Agile, where we are highly invested in a collaborative approach with our vendors with our contractors. And so we set up, you know, kind of win win contracts that meet agile goals, right? Because a lot of times contracts are anchored into, you know, these deliverables that again, have been created around crystal ball analysis, no real factual data that we can actually achieve, achieve certain milestones. And then if we don’t, we get penalized, and it’s just, you know, really kind of negative connotation around some of our contracting clauses. But agile contracting is a way that both parties are collaborative around the goals that you’re trying to meet within the the body of work in the Esso w, that again, it’s a win win. It’s a more accurate contract, it’s more reflective of what’s going to actually happen and incentivizes the vendor or the contractor to accelerate delivery and to try to achieve higher and higher levels of performance. But that’s, you know, those are those are things that are, you know, agile, the Agile way of working usually goes above and beyond to try to deliver value to both parties. And that’s kind of the the value system. That is that comes to light there in the acquisition process. And then the third aspect is we see in project management, or program management. So there are agile methods to run projects and run programs. So it kind of spans beyond just running an individual software development team. But how do you get in multiple vendors working together? How do you align requirements around a big program, or big solution delivery system or an IT service management? Group? And how do you apply these agile methods, these lean agile methods to that so that is becoming a more and more popular approach as well, especially with the scaling frameworks that are out there these days that allow a large amount of people within a program to come together and align and synchronize around some of these agile goals and milestones.
based on a lot of the case studies that have been analyzed, that’s gone into this presentation, we have a list of successes, that Agile has been able to provide for a lot of government agencies, as well as some common challenges that we see across the board. So one of the start with the successes here, what do we see as a success that agile adoption brings to the government agencies has been providing a clear purpose and vision. And one of the things that you get right out of the gate of setting up an Agile process is to anchor on that that purpose, that vision, and how the teams are tracking towards that. So that is something that typically comes out of that enhanced leadership engagement. You know, leaders don’t sit by idly and watch or get in the waterfall which process it is kind of a, you know, leaders are very disconnected from the process. In the Agile way of working leaders are engaged, they are a part of the team, there’s this concept in Lean called the gimble approach, Japanese term that really signifies that leaders go to the line, they go to where the work is being performed. And they see with their own eyes, they get involved, they’re become problem solvers, they become key stakeholders that are engaged in improvement. Alright, more motivation. Agile is about sustainable pace, transparency. Work is visually depicted, we call them big visual information radiators, you can’t see an Agile process. Well, I haven’t seen one that doesn’t really take that, you know, right off the bat as being one of the key artifacts that you create, you create a board, you create a Kanban board, you visually see the workflow. And so transparency is a big part of that financial sustainability, know, a little bit more predictability than what you would have in a waterfall process, obviously adaptable to the changing fast paced environment. That is, you know, one of the key areas of agile development as well, collective ownership, we’re no longer kind of working in silos, we see it’s our whole holistic responsibility to own the direction of where we’re going. Consolidated learning, that’s no, we’re actually going to talk about that a little, a little bit more, especially when we get into the knowledge management piece. But we’re consolidating what we learned and we continually cycle on that, why we print we, we, we retrospect we create action items, we act on it, we change our behavior accordingly, based on what we know, and what we’ve actually found out over the last iteration. And so this continuous learning approach is kind of anchored in successful agile adoptions, and then enhanced communication, we’re no longer again, looking at the siloed approach of working, we’re looking at a way that allows for greater collaboration, greater as me as a collective owner of the work now I’m free to go and reach out to others, I that’s the expectation that’s put on me is that I’m gonna reach out and I’m gonna go get the information and seek out the information that I need to help me and my team succeed.
Okay, now let’s look at some of the challenges.
So right on the top, we are recruiting for cultural fit. Again, this is coming out a lot of the case studies from actual government agencies that have adopted agile, and what we mean by that is that we’re, we’re bringing on people to the project that do not sit well or do not synchronize Well, or cause maybe even some, you know, disconnect or,
you know, you know, bad vibes
within the team, right? They’re just not working well, working with the team. So You know, we talked about that there’s this concept called Agile HR. And that is one of the key points that we emphasize, from an agile HR perspective that we look for people that have this growth mindset that are that are workers that are willing to be adaptable, that are willing, that are good team players. Alright. So if you’ve been if you’ve inherited a system, where the that was not the expectation that we worked individually, that we weren’t expected to work in teams, and we were expected to kind of be, you know, protect our own turf, and not let anybody cross our lanes and get in work with us, you’ve probably inherited a culture that’s kind of against the Agile way of looking at things, right. So recruiting for cultural fit is is a key area of challenges that a lot of government agencies have reported that they’re facing Bau work versus strategic work Bau meaning business, as usual. And what we see here, and I’ve seen it personally, is that team members are split across different work streams, I mean, I’m supposed to be working on the strategic project over here, but then I still got my responsibilities over here. And I still got some responsibilities over here. So I have these business as usual things that I’m expected to keep up with. But I’m also expected to contribute a lot of effort, a lot of my capacity towards these strategic goals, which end up you know, can gotta go down to the third bullet from the bottom that, you know, workload management becomes an issue, we start to see individuals like 150%, allocate in terms of their bandwidth.
Alright, so that is an issue.
Loss of knowledge, when expertise walks out the door, that there’s certain, we call it tacit knowledge that certain individuals have within the group, that if that person walks out tomorrow,
we’re in trouble, right?
So we have these, what we call knowledge silos, and it can go on to the, to the next bullet, that the knowledge around how to achieve the the value and achieve the overall outcomes of this solution is kind of low, but you know, it’s, it’s focused in a couple of individuals, or little pockets of the organization. And it’s not managed well. Because if that group or that person walks out the door, you know, we’re behind the eight ball. Okay? So the silos, again, in terms of knowledge, in terms of ways of working, you know, no real cross collaboration across the silos, internal processes, and procedure alignment, that is a challenge, right, especially when we move to an agile way of working, we have some people that are aware of the process changes, and what we’re supposed to be doing, and some people that are not aware, or some people that might be aware of it, but they’re just not trained, or do not have the same understanding, as others do. So there’s just this constant misalignment when we’re moving from one process model, or, you know, one, you know, way of working to a new way of working, we’re not completely aligned on what that work looks, what that actual workflow looks like, and how am I as a key contributor going to participate in that talked about workload management. Another key aspect that we see challenges with is leadership vulnerability, you know, meaning that leaders take on the persona that, hey, I know what I’m doing. I know completely what I’m doing. I don’t need to, I don’t need to have that growth mindset, right. I am fixed. I know it all. I know that I know the Agile way, and I’m going to lead versus admitting to the fact that, hey, I’m going through the transformation just like you all, I’m learning as we go, I’m being vulnerable and being transparent. A lot of these key values that that may not be the leadership style that certain individuals have adopted over their career. So this is a challenge. You know, it’s a new leadership style that, you know, agile leaders have that may not be the leadership style that a lot of senior leaders from a Thai past might have been accustomed to what they’ve been trained in, and how to create that persona, that strong persona, that you got it all under control. And, you know, that’s the kind of, you know, that’s the kind of presence you want to bring to your groups. And then last but not least, which is a big one, which is resistance to change, and that we see that across the board. Again, people are fixed and kind of go back to the fixed mindset that, you know, why do I have to change? I’ve been doing this for 25 years. Why would I want to change the approach that I’ve been taking for the last 25 years for this new Johnny come lately? process change? Hey,
it’s, you know,
I don’t need that. I know What I’m doing, okay, so a lot of the successes and challenges here are, are, again, we pulled this from the research that has been out there in industry, and very, very important to kind of anchor on those. Okay. So if you remember, a couple slides ago, I mentioned, what are those couple of tools that you need to anchor on to make sure that you can get some traction in your Agile transformation. Remember, I showed you the list of the complete list of mountain climbing tools that you could that you could have in your backpack, but I kind of focused in on three of them, a helmet, a rope, and some hiking shoes, some mountain climbing shoes. And so what I like to equate the change management using an analogy, if you’re going on his journey, and you got you got some tools that you’re taking with you that change management is like your helmet, you need to create a safe environment for change, you can be very disruptive. And fire a lot of people that don’t don’t cut it, or you know, you could just make these drastic organizational changes and hierarchy. And new people are reporting to new people now, and things of that nature. And if you do things the wrong way, again, using that helmet as an analogy, you could create an unsafe environment, hit your head pretty quickly and fall off that mountain. Alright, so change management is about making sure that you have a safe and logical, very communicative way of communicating and strategically how change is going to be adopted within the organization, because, again, you had those two heads about the fixed versus growth mindset, we got, you know, we’re, we’re changing people’s minds in the organization, you know, over time, it’s a transitions transformation. And so we need to have an a managed approach, we need to have a managed approach and how we go about doing that. So change management’s number one. All right, the next area that I’m going to actually focus a little bit deeper on and change management for another day, and we’re going to address that in another series. But the second aspect is how do we manage the knowledge that’s within the organization, especially the new knowledge that’s being created? Right, a lot of the fix, you know, we have a lot of people, you know, say that people are unaware, you know, they may not have a fixed mindset, or they may have a fixed mindset, but But overall, we’re trying to pour new knowledge into individuals so that they can act in a different way we can operate in a different way, take on a new mindset to our organizational approach to our value proposition. All right. So now as management is a an area, a research area that we actually doing research with at the University of North Texas as well on how to organize some of the knowledge repositories and have a structured approach to making sure knowledge is being spread and maintained, and enabling the success of the Agile transformation. Okay, so this is a tool that’s very important
we need to look at, you know, managing the knowledge that our organization is acquiring, so that’s useful to carry on forward. So here’s a what we call a knowledge management method or framework. And this is actually from the Asian process organizations called the knowledge management framework that has a lot of research that’s been done on it. And again, I’ll share some of the links and references to this particular framework and topic around this. But you can see it goes very in depth, it’s some details that kind of explain what we’re looking at, as I go through this diagram here. So very front and center, there needs to be a vision and mission, understanding that our organization is going to go through a lot of opportunities to acquire new knowledge, we’re going to be creating new knowledge. And again, knowledge is information and learnings that that need to be passed on and need to be treated as assets. You know, it’s kind of like intellectual property. You know, knowledge is an asset, you got a lot of smart individuals that have a lot of key knowledge around areas of our agile adoption around our technologies. How do we maintain that? And how do we make sure that we’re applying the right constructs in place that we can create usefulness out of this knowledge and accessibility of this knowledge so that we can enable as many parts of the organization with this knowledge as quickly as possible, so it needs to be a vision and mission on how we do that? And that starts right out of the second little circle there with the people processes in tools that are the accelerators to that primarily led by leaders, leadership needs to take a front center approach on how to spearhead this knowledge management approach within the organization. And then the third circle gets into the actual knowledge management processes. How do and when do we say we’ve identified a new opportunity to coalesce around that knowledge and put that knowledge in a repository or a wiki or create a new process around acquisition in that piece of knowledge, whether it be on teams, or whether it be in a community of practice, where we’re going to share this, this piece of knowledge, and we’re going to store it, you know, there might be some systems, some technologies that we need to adopt within the organization to better create better repositories and better sharing of the of these knowledge aspects where the, you know, in some of our SharePoint sites, or in our collaborate tools, if you will, and then applying what we know. So what is the application that what are the training programs? What are the the the events that we have, where we actually share this knowledge out? So again, a strategy around that created by leaders using technology and tools and the people on how do we come up with an approach to, to manage and allow this knowledge to be shared easily. And then from that, we have the learning and innovation space, right? From this application of knowledge, this identification and creation of new knowledge and, and the ability to share this knowledge out, we expect there to be further learnings and further innovation, that, that enable the what you see, the fourth circle around here is in terms of an organization, right? We’re looking at individual in organizational capacity, how are we enabling, for example, our organization to adopt these new knowledge areas and be proficient and be productive? Again, because we’ve got those? I mean, look at the the opposite extreme end of this where you don’t have any knowledge management process in place. And then those experts walk out the door? How do we how do we enable our organization to take advantage of that knowledge that just walked out the door? We did, we lost out on that, you know, we’re starting from scratch a lot of time and money down the tubes, because we didn’t have a structured approach to managing the knowledge of transformation and, and, and tools that are needed to move this transformation forward. And then last, but not least, is we need to identify what are those targets? Where are the specific outcomes in terms of productivity, growth, profitability, and quality of service that we’re looking for that are going to be impacted by a structured knowledge management approach around our organizational transformation. Alright, so this is just, you know, one example. There are many knowledge management frameworks out there. But it’s,
important to have a structured approach that is logical and explainable that we can come away with being able to address some of the shortcomings that our organization might have. So when you look at that successes and challenges list that we talked about before, you can see how some of these areas can map directly to, you know, either the successes if they we’ve done some of these things well, or, you know, we might be lacking in some of the areas. So let’s take some of the accelerators, for example, around vision mission and leadership, engagement, that obviously may have a good process around pleat creating a clear purpose, and having an enhanced, engaged leadership around alright, motivated workforce that we that’s definitely an accelerator in this space, that if we got people gung ho and ready to, to move the needle forward, within our organizational transformation, that, you know, we’re sharing good knowledge around that area. The aspect of consolidating learning, we’ve done it well, if we’re able to innovate and learn that kind of pointing to that, that that fourth circle there that we must we’ve consolidated our learnings. Well, that means that others are able to take some of those learnings and innovate on them. All right. And that’s a that’s a proven outcome that we could actually point to, like, hey, our knowledge management approach is working. We’re not only we are identifying the right things to, to store and make available and communicate to the broader organization, through our knowledge management strategy. We’re actually seeing the needle move in terms of innovation, and that’s positive. So we consolidated learnings properly and some of the shortcomings and the challenges that that we can Point two is that, hey, if we are facing shortcomings in terms of individual capacity, or organizational capacity, we could point to yet knowledge walking out the door, is if it’s impacting us in the wrong way, that we clearly did not have a kind of a knowledge transfer plan in place, and how do we take some of that knowledge that’s tacit to certain individuals. And you know, tacit meaning that it’s, you know, kind of resides in individuals, and it’s not documented in public, you know, published where anyone else can reference but that knowledge walks out the door, because it’s tacit, that means that we didn’t have a good plan in place to disseminate that knowledge. All right. So processes in place, how do we collect the right data and information and the knowledge that is important to share across the information and a process around that, in that way, we can actually follow up with that information. Because again, we’re remember when we pointed to challenges that a lot of times Agile transformations face challenges in that I’m new to this role, you know, I’m being asked as a product owner now to contribute in a new way to a team where I was traditionally a project manager, I just changed my role. How do I do that? I need some,
I need some learnings, I need some enablement, I need people to share with me knowledge that I need to do my job and I need coaching, I need training. Alright, so those processes need to be in place, from a knowledge management perspective to help facilitate those challenges of not aligning to your role or internal processes that you are new to and not might not be familiar with. All right. And then lastly, the resistance to change piece. And I’m pointing to the outcomes of the knowledge management process where we should see some successes. And, you know, ultimately, you know, resistance to change runs a little bit deep, why people don’t want to change, you know, again, again, being fixed in your ways, might be more of a personal thing than a data centric thing. But one thing that we can do to really get some organizational alignment around why we need to change and why should be a no brainer, and no reasons as to why we’re not going to change is because the outcomes speak for themselves, right. So when we see clearly that, when we operate in a certain way, when we capture the right knowledge, and we make the proper change that yeah, it’s gonna it might be hard to make, you know, to make this curve and make this change. But, you know, ultimately, if the outcomes are there, we should be moving in the right direction as an organization. And lastly, what I want to show, before we open it up for questions is that you take something like a knowledge management framework, you can see and analyze your organization’s readiness for agile adoption. And what I’m showing here is actually taken right from that, that knowledge management framework that you can run an assessment on such a framework on how well your organization is performing in the various categories of leadership processes, people, tools, technology, you know, outcomes that you’re measuring against, in terms of your knowledge management readiness. And you could see, kind of write yourself in terms of a maturity model, and your readiness in order to get started. So you think, you know, if you’re somewhere down in this react reaction phase of beginning stages of managing the data and information and knowledge in your organization, you’re kind of ad hoc, in this area, you may have, you might find it very difficult to continually adopt the new agile practices that are needed. Because that would that also probably signifies to is that you’re not really there in terms of a continuous learning organization, right, you have a very low maturity level, and being able to take in new learnings and apply them successfully, to move in the direction that you’re trying to shoot for. So you probably want to be somewhere in the middle or on the upper end of a refined knowledge management process, I’d say introductory or refined in order to take on something as big as a transformation. You know, you’re trying to change mindsets, right is a change management approach that we haven’t even gotten into that you need to probably apply along with this. But to be able to take in new learnings and apply these new learnings and to hyper focus productivity and continually improve around these new learnings. It takes a little bit of maturity. And, you know, so that is something that I believe, you know, any government agency can learn from this example as you know, to be able to self reflect on where are you at in terms of your ability to take Again, new learnings and apply these new learnings. And that is kind of a kind of a bar of I think a minimum bar that will, you can evaluate yourself to to ensure, you know, somewhat of a successful transformational journey, at least right from the beginning, and your readiness to adopt a lot of these new methods that you will find in the Agile way of working.
Alright, well, that said,
we have about 10 minutes left, and I wanted to open it up for any questions or comments that might come from the audience. So yeah, feel free to ping in if you’re in the live live session here in zoom, you can throw in a chat, or if you are in the LinkedIn live session as well, you can chat something there as well. I’ll just pause here for a second to give you an opportunity.
Charles has a question. In terms of train, you had mentioned training cross getting trained for agile in this space? Are there any recommended trainings to take or any recommendations that as participants or as individuals that we can look forward to or participate in? Yeah, excellent question. So, you know, one of the one of the things that
is important in any Agile transformation, is to have leadership level trainings available, so that leaders can understand the importance of some of these tools like knowledge management, change management, because leaders, you know, leaders don’t necessarily implement XP practices, no XP there, for those that are, that are familiar with that term. It’s a, you know, very engineering centric, software engineering centric, agile practice. But leaders are engaged in different levels of the Agile adoption of the agile, transformational journey, so they’re in more engaged in the change management aspects of the knowledge management aspects. And so some of the leadership trainings that, you know, we’ve talked together Mahmut, and that are out there, as well, on the internet, I think there’s like, there’s their, you know, the various types of leadership level trainings, that agile leadership to take in, not skip out on, you know, so at least they’re aware of where they need to plug in, and what they need to be focused on, in order to make their Agile transformation successful. So these are some of the tools that we would talk about change management, knowledge management in an agile leadership class to make sure that leaders are aware of and applying some of these tools and methods to align with their journey, their Agile transformation journey.
Great questions. To add on to that,
you know, one of the aspects I mentioned that, you know, working with the University of North Texas, in our research projects, this is one of the topics that we are actually researching. And so if there are, you know, we go pretty deep into looking at the literature and the case studies that have been presented and some of the, you know, clients that we’ve been working with, and, and successes that we’ve had, they’re using knowledge management techniques, that, you know, there’s always things that you can either reach out to us, you know, once this message goes out, either through LinkedIn or through our website, and you know, we’d be definitely happy to, to discuss with anyone around some of the findings that we’ve had, or some of the research projects that we’re working on and, and to help with spreading that knowledge about what we know in this space as well.
All right. Any other questions? I’ll open it up here for another minute. Okay. Well, it doesn’t look like we have any more
questions, but just to kind of finalize our webinar here. Just want to let you know that the recording will be going out to the group and those that registered for the webinar. You can find us online at i 4d solutions.com or the eye for group.com as well. And you can see we have an info email posted here as well as Again, this is for the government space, the government services space our ad. It agile cybersecurity, in service training and services group. And we’d definitely be more than happy to, to answer any questions that you might have around, you know, bringing Agile to your government agency, and how you might be able to adapt some of these methods for you know, higher levels of performance, reduce risks, etc. So, I’m Charles Maddox again, it’s been a pleasure to have you guys on our webinar. Again, this is going to be going out just recording. Thank you guys so much for joining in today. And you all have a great rest
of your afternoon. Be safe, be agile. Peace.