New ways and old ways — Bimodal working

Balancing traditional working methods with contemporary thinking

Scenario

Contrasting working methods hinders business success and affects culture

Paula* works as the PMO manager at her local council. The council has a growing online presence and is continually developing new services as well as revamping existing services for ratepayers.

Over the last two years, the online development teams have embraced Agile, finding it an extremely effective way of cutting delivering times while improving customer satisfaction through closer business engagement.  The IT group wants to move to a Continuous Delivery or DevOps approach, especially for customer facing systems where Business Agility is a key objective.

The business has a long history of capital works delivery, typically through numerous third-party contracting companies via a mature and repeatable ‘waterfall’ approach.  This tactic has been successful in delivering quality infrastructure, a key part of the council’s brand that relies on robust, high-quality customer services.

Paula has been tasked with bringing the two worlds together to ensure the delivery of business outcomes through an integrated delivery approach. Sick of hearing from both sides that “their way is the best”, Paula went online for a bit of quiet research where she stumbled on Core Consulting Group’s (CCG) Bi-modal paper.  It immediately struck a chord and led to her to engage consulting advice.

CCG influence

Impartial advice that considers all factors

CCG assisted Paula’s group to map common concepts between the two approaches, such as delivery of discrete packages or work, as well as identify the constraints: for example, the annual capital funding processes.

From experience, captured in our Bimodal white paper, CCG identified where and how the governance gates and reporting would need to change as well as the use of project management tools and focus.  CCG also considered roles and responsibilities, blending in the concepts of Scrum Master and Iteration Manager into more traditional Project Manager role descriptions.

Outcome

Balanced advice that ensures efficiency and drives direction

As a result of the CCG engagement, Paula’s group had a clear roadmap of what the council needed to do to improve awareness of the different ways of working using Agile and where commonality (and differences) existed.

They were able to look beyond the hype, ensuring the approach to governing projects – approving, overseeing, making decisions, etc – didn’t fundamentally change.

The CCG influence also led to the council revisiting budgeting and reporting on costs of projects beyond just the financial year, aligning annual planning to Program Increment Planning (PI Planning) within the Software Continuous Delivery plans.

*Name and type of organisation changed to protect client confidentiality.

Case studies

Further reading

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