Mark Schwartz, DHS, CIS CIO shares how agencies are modernizing and accelerating the pace of IT
AgileThought Creates New Chief Strategy Officer Role and Promotes Clare DeBoef to Chief Operating
PRNewswire/ – AgileThought, a national provider of custom software solutions and development consulting to Fortune 1000 clients, announced today the newly created role of Chief Strategy Officer will be assumed by co-owner Jeff Alagood. These organizational changes, combined with other recent promotions, follow a steady pattern of growth as AgileThought increased its revenue by 60 percent in 2017 and continues to position itself for future growth. Co-owner and former COO, will move into the role of Chief Strategy Officer where he will continue to guide the company and explore new and innovative concepts for partnering with clients to deliver value to their businesses. In his new role as COO, DeBoef will oversee human resources, recruiting, sales, account management, administration, finance, and IT. He was previously Senior Vice President of Client Services, where he led the engagement management and account management teams.
AgileThought is a full-service software consulting firm with specializations in enterprise application development, digital and agile transformation and training, DevOps consulting and training, collaboration, SharePoint, data analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud solutions, and user interface and experience design. Formed in 2004, the company has been noted as one of the country’s Best Companies to Work For by Fortune magazine. It is currently listed on the Inc. 5000 list for the tenth consecutive year and was also listed as one of the Best Company Cultures by Entrepreneur magazine. It serves Fortune 1000 clients nationwide from offices in Tampa.
Jeff Smith: Lessons from IBM’s CIO on scaling agile
Jeff Smith arrived at IBM just over one year ago, but his mantra-to create an agile culture across Big Blue-is already driving fundamental change. Using the collective wisdom of IBMers to build a new, more collaborative innovation model, Smith’s organization is creating loosely coupled, tightly aligned teams that combine the work ethic of a startup with the muscle of a large enterprise. Formerly the CEO of Suncorp, Smith credits running agile at scale in the Australian financial services company as a major factor in its success. An agile culture is a combination of leadership disciplines that govern how to form teams and distribute work, how to get teams to operate effectively and how to measure what matters and prioritize. Self-directed teams are better than command and control.
You need to be really clear and disciplined in the way you form and manage your teams. With large organizations, the secret is taking great big groups with huge programs and breaking them into small teams. At IBM, our on-the-ground teams are called squads, small groups of 7-10 people. That’s how you get the scale benefits of problem-solving while still allowing teams to work autonomously in loosely coupled, but tightly aligned groups. With agile, you have multiple teams doing work concurrently, trading knowledge, rapidly finding out where the errors are and figuring out what works.
I came to IBM from Suncorp and we used agile across our shared services operations, in finance, in real estate, in procurement and in a host of other functions. At IBM we’ve found that teams who stick together over a three-four month time double their productivity.
Agile development helps state government avoid waste, improve project quality, NASCIO report says
A positive assessment of the methodology’s use in state IT projects also comes with a set of best practices. Agile is spreading in state government, but it needs champions. After teasing its initial findings earlier this year, the National Association of State Chief Information Officers released its final report on the popular iterative development process during its annual conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday. In a panel discussion, state Chief Information Officers Ed Toner of Nebraska and Denis Goulet of New Hampshire shared their experiences introducing the process into state government and reflected on the report’s findings, such as the fact that half of those surveyed reported a belief that agile affords government greater efficiency and less risk amid IT projects. Toner, who is championing the use of agile in Nebraska, said groups that have embraced the spirit of the process have seen improved efficiency.
The process and the mechanics of agile are useful, Toner said, but the results come when groups adopt the spirit of agile development and begin doing performance management internally. Government has been slower to adopt, but is gaining after hearing tales of success from advocates like Toner and Goulet. For those trying agile for the first time, Toner recommended first finding the sweet spot. The results of NASCIO’s report show that agile can allow work that is faster, more efficient, of a higher quality, more transparent, more strategic, and include improved customer engagement. Getting teams in Nebraska state government to adopt agile has been a mixed bag, Toner said, but he’s playing the long game.
How A CIO Becomes An Agile Leader
The evolving role of a CIO requires a perspective beyond technology alone. A modern CIO’s role centers on how to better enable decision-making, with the skillful use of technology, information, and knowledge. They need to know the line between what needs to be standardized and planned, and what needs to be flexible and agile. More than that, to become an agile leader they need to understand how to focus their personal brand as being collaborative and inclusive. I had a conversation with Mr.
Bask Iyer, SVP & CIO of VMware, who brought another interesting quality to the role. As a former enterprise customer, he had the full experience from a customer’s point of view, to add on top of the company’s internal use of VMware’s own technology. Mr. Iyer joined VMware in March 2015 to lead their global information and technology organization. Prior to this, he was SVP & CIO at Juniper Networks, served as chief information officer at Honeywell, and chief information officer at GlaxoSmithKline Beecham for consumer healthcare research and development, over 25 years of experience in driving change in traditional Fortune 100 manufacturing companies and high technology firms.
People expect to find other people and schedule meetings. With the environment of changing tools, the best approach is to educate people on what the crown jewels and where the pitfalls are. IT becomes about education and policy-and tools to monitor where usage is going. Systems of differentiation let you do more agile IT. We can try more experimental things in say, our communications with customers.