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Leadership Falters in Support for Business Agile Deployments

Executive Leadership Falters in Support for NZ Business Agile Deployments

Auckland, 12 October 2015 – More than half (56 per cent) of all surveyed organisations in New Zealand claim that the lack of top-down executive leadership and overall C-level engagement within the business is plaguing current plans to deploy Agile management methodologies within their organisations.

At the same time, those individuals tasked with rolling out enterprise-scale Agile face pressures scaling Agile efforts beyond their own team to ultimately deliver transformation services.

That’s according to a survey conducted by Rally (now part of CA Technologies), a leading provider of software and services that drive agility, which commissioned the research at this month’s AgileNZ conference staged in Wellington. The survey reviewed the attitudes and experiences for Agile delivery among business analysts, Scrum managers, Agile coaches, senior developers, analyst programmers, consultants and developers in the current workplace environment.

Just under one in ten respondents (9 per cent) claim that delivering Agile to the business beyond their own siloed department is a major issue. Meanwhile, 11 per cent said that the combination of cultural inhibitors and situations where those rolling out Agile are not actually scoping the process are issues holding back a return to the business, and represent a potential risk factor to ultimate project delivery success.

The survey also found that lack of a sense of urgency, staff turnover and too many competing project deadlines also hindered successful Agile delivery.

"The research results show many departments are still challenged with major business issues when it comes to taking advantage of Agile," said Nat Tanner, regional vice president for Australia and New Zealand, Rally. When you ask any systems designer, developer or CIO what their board wants, it’s odds-on that agility, a customer focus or empowerment, and a vague reference to “transformation” will appear somewhere on the list. Like the '90s, when no marketer seemed able to communicate without using the phrase “paradigm shift”, these buzz words have become standard topics in business conversation. But, unlike much of the past use of “paradigm shift”, they aren't simply glib phrases. Agility, a customer focus and transformation are individual elements that, when combined, can greatly influence business performance.

“However, while collaborative cultures can ultimately create stronger, more productive teams, the move to collaboration can sometimes be challenging. When organisations adopt Agile practices, a fundamental shift in culture is required. It needs executive leadership, open communication and cross-departmental involvement. Not only does this mean creating a project development plan and establishing methods of open communication but organisations also need to find a delicate balance between speed and minding the details.

“These survey results would suggest that while Agile and lean development practices have empowered a new generation of developers, project managers and software companies to build the right things, the test now is for enterprises to digest these innovative products that the business truly needs and has an urgency to consume.”

ends

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