Doing Waterfall Development in the Could World does not work
– AWS re:Invent
Agility on the cloud
Enabling Business Agility is key for a successful Cloud Technology Adoption. As organizations transition to the cloud, cloud technology customers have discovered that the journey into the cloud is riddled with options, opportunities and pitfalls. Cloud Technology Adoptions are disrupting businesses and industries around the world. The fact is the Adoption can be transformative for almost every enterprise.
Unlike traditional technology migrations; organizations with plans to migrate to, test or adopt cloud technologies often times not only lack of requirements and skills, but they often do not have an exact understanding of the impact and opportunities.
Cloud Solution Providers that leverage Business Agility on their approaches can better help organizations build and execute a flexible, responsive and Cloud Technology Adoption Roadmap Pan (CTARP) that best utilizes and better take advantages of cloud technologies.
Unlike traditional Project Management Frameworks, a more “Business Agility” centric approach is better for managing digital transformations and cloud technology adoptions as they integrate various business components and consider how these impact your people, product, processes and technologies (3pts).
While Agile methodologies and frameworks have built mechanisms for learning and evaluating functionality, adapting and enabling for change, these alone often come short. Instead, Business Agility considers, DevOps, Lean, Agile frameworks along with leading tools and technology providers to manage execution and change. Considering Partners with expertise on Cloud Technologies and Business Agility can be critical for organizations as it makes the development and transition into the cloud a dynamic journey that is maximized by opportunities and learning.
Why Business Agility is better for executing Cloud Technology initiatives?
With the continuous and fast evolution of applications and services available on the cloud leveraging Business Agility integrates all components and looks various perspectives: Business, People, Products Technologies along with Platform, Security, and Operations. This is key for enabling success during the migration, adoption technologies as it looks at the various perspectives required for these efforts. This may result in migrating to the cloud faster, realizing your desired outcomes sooner, and avoid common challenges to a smooth migration. Traditional ways of managing initiatives and planning independently across the business and IT along with a staged or gated approach are to slow and ineffective. Business Agility is aimed at quickly developing, testing and deploying business cases and solutions, deliver value learning, streamlining adoption and allowing your “cloud-enabled” business to take advantage and realize benefits sooner. Business Agility is important for developing a mindset and thinking beyond your technology and operations and more into value streams, leadership, teams and client-delivery.
Having a vision, envisioning outcomes and creating an Business Agility driven strategy with some high level details (business canvas, business case, use case, etc.) can be the best approach to guide your organization’s in the preliminary and evaluation steps of the cloud adoption process. Engaging Business Agility Professionals when building a solution for your business can help connect all stakeholders. Building partnerships across Business and IT can streamline execution of migration, adoption of technologies and execution. This may also help tackle some of the gaps in understanding on the impacts of cloud technology on your Governance, Business and Operations.
Is your Cloud Technology Strategy built with Agility in mind?
As you begin to explore your adoption it is recommend that the process begins with the experimentation of technologies and functionality of the environments; building Proof of Concepts may help validate your understanding and better leverage the Adoption of cloud technologies in stages with the desired transitional steps.
Cloud Technology Providers such as AWS define stages for the adoption as Project, Foundation, Cloud Native and Re-Innovation. For more information on the stages Project, Foundation, Cloud Native and Re-Innovation. Depending on the size scope of your project and which stage you are of this journey your plan can be more or less complex.
BACs and Solution Providers can be critical allies and partners as you develop the right strategy (6Rs) for your business. Building a Strategy with Agility in mind can help set up a timeline or roadmap for your future with flexibility and adaptation being responsive on to the continuous changes on solution and offering from partners. Evaluating risks and impacts on your platform, services, procured-services infrastructure, products and applications. Engaging your Executive Leaders across Business and IT can help bring clarity into the business in areas of Product and Services and Client Operations.
Unlike traditional project management approaches, creating a more Agile Cloud Technology Adoption Plan (ACTAP) will help you more easily coordinate, streamline and align efforts as well to as uncover potential issues. Leveraging Lean methods, Agile Frameworks and DevOps will help with execution can more easily identify and implement proactive solutions.
One last consideration to take as part of your plan is important to understand some of the key optimization enablers that fit your business model such as: Services needed (Managed or High value), Fit (Storage type, Instances, etc.), Cost (Licensing or Purchasing), Scalability (time and event). For more information on this reference AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF). For more information on your business model go to link.
Business Agility Enables Value Delivery on the cloud
Enabling Cloud Technology with Agility in mind means having a careful consideration of how technology impacts your people, products, processes and technologies (3pts). Successful cloud transformations first identify which organizational skills, structures need to be redesigned and what new skills need to be learned. Taking quick action adapting individuals aptitudes, skills and redesigning organizational structures is often required for success. By leveraging more Agile approach before and during the transition doing you may obtain higher returns and responsiveness. Business Agility Coaching (BAC) can help setting up Agile-like, roles, teams and structures, training along with integrating technology and automation early on and all throughout your journey. In turn this can improve your execution as your business may more easily identify and implement proactive solutions, which is key for aligning goals with your bottom line.
Business Agility Coaches with cloud technology experience have been more successful at helping their clients leverage their technology stack by providing insights into various perspectives: Business, People, Governance, Platform, Security, and Operations. Business Agility experts can also more successfully help creating and executing an effective cloud adoption plan as they look for a unified vision for success across all organizations. For more information on this reference AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF). Agile Coaches with experience and understanding on these technologies can help leverage Kanban, Lean and scrum across teams. BACs can help you look beyond your technology stack by providing insights into your Governance, Business and Operations, with a strategy that addresses opportunities from all perspectives.
Integrating Agility in to your Roadmap Plan
The process of developing a Roadmap plan does not follow a straight line. The Roadmap plan will change, the key is to align your organization’s goal and proactively test and explore solutions available to you. This will help all stakeholders in the transition to a new cloud-based IT model. Looking at your Business, People, Governance, Platform, Security, and Operations can help you assess every angle which can lead to a more successful cloud transformation. The key using a similar approach is to identify which organizational skills need to be updated and what new skills need to be learned. BAE can provide sound advice for mixing tools, technologies methods and approaches during execution can better guide your organization as you create an effective cloud adoption plan that is flexible and adaptive.
If you are in the midst of an adoption always seek expert advice and engage other technical and leaders. Business Agility Consultants with experience and understanding on these technologies are better equipped to help you when implementing Agile Frameworks, DeVOps, along with processes such as kanban, lean and scrum. Beyond your technology stack these experts can make great partners and help by providing insights into your Governance, Business and Operations which can help technology and Operations teams move faster and better integrate adoption with other initiatives.
Bellow a template plan I’ve adapted from traditional (AWS Cloud Adoption Framework (CAF):
Step 1. Outline your Vision, Purpose and Outcomes
Before you roll out a long term Vision Epic/Enablers/Capability Plan with Stakeholders and Owner you must create a vision and purpose that aligns with the strategy for migrating to the cloud involve the creation of actions for almost every single organization. Having a vision 6-12 months out with Stakeholders and Owners is a great first step. However, it is critical that you integrate a process of Inspection and Adaptation as you plan your Roadmap. The Vision must be must flexible, responsive and effective. BAC can help your team and involved guiding your organization’s leadership cloud adoption process. As you establish outcomes for your value Streams, outline opportunities for improvement and change, you focus on prioritizing and adapting your strategy every month. Your plan must account for rapid change and adaptation to enable you to balance work across teams, respond to potential issues, opportunities and more properly take advantage of them. As you begin to outline your epics it is important to begin to:
- Establish outcomes
- Establish Business Value Streams
- Establish Dependencies Across Value Streams
- Engage leadership and assign owners
- Identify common themes and opportunities for improvement and change
- Establish a 3-6 month Roadmap Plan
- Inspect, Iterate and Adpat
A long term Vision Epic/Enablers/Capability and strategy 6-12 months out with Stakeholders and Owners is a great first step. BAC can help your whole organization’s cloud adoption process. As you begin to outline your epics it is important to begin to take action on challenges but more importantly measure your learning and impact on you value streams by devising metrics that align with outcomes. A BAC can help your devise metrics to assess the delivery and efficacy and progress each areas of focus: Business, People, Products Technologies along with Platform, Security, and Operations.
Step 2. Outline your Outcome and Potential Challenges across your Business (Products and Services), People, Processes, Technologies (what I call “3pts”), along with Platform, Security, and Operations:
Devise a strategy and the Epics that need to be tackle to plan an initial Cloud Adoption Roadmap Plan.
You may for each skill or process that requires updating, you create a user story or statement and enter it into a cell within the template. Action statements should begin with a verb. Actions to update skills usually start with “learn,” “investigate” or “train.” A BAC can help your devise metrics to assess the delivery and efficacy and progress on your cloud adoption process key for execution. Updates and progress on the processes usually start with “create,” “update,” “develop” or “reevaluate.”
In Agile terms, each perspective common to businesses: Business, People, Governance, Platform, Security, and Operations can be set up and impacts mapped across all perspectives. Like a matrix, this will help identify interdependencies with actions in other perspectives.
Step 3. Evaluate immediate impact on the people’s skills, roles, autonomy and decision making power to assess impediments, enablers, capabilities and gaps.
From the people perspective; migrating to the could be expensive at first but the savings pay for themselves in years and even months. The skills of your developers, architects, analysts and leads technical leads may be the biggest challenge during adoption. When migrating services you may need both. However, when you develop cloud native applications you need skills and experts to help you build with cloud in mind. Your old applications may need to be “rethinked”, massively refactored and or simply discarded.
Who owns the capabilities? Who owns the enablers?
What organizations need to be involved?
Who are the key stakeholders?
Step 4. Identify Business Dependencies, Challenges and Concerns
From the Businesses perspective; migrating to the could be expensive and time consuming. Building cloud applications can require a lot of learning, trial and error with short cycles. How does your old applications impact the security and scalability of your new cloud-native applications? How adaptive to demand is your business? Is your SaaS build to fully take advantage of cloud technologies? Are my application endpoints secure? How am I managing attacks?
There are many Dependencies, Challenges and Concerns – Risks when migrating existing applications, infrastructure and applications. The key is to gradually plan on exposing them. Making them visual in your plan can help them be properly assessed and understood.
Do they support DevOps? Are they built for scalability? How flexible? Is your team structure to fully take advantage of cloud technologies?
Step 5. What issues need to be addressed now, what decision can be postponed, what skills/capabilities are lagging
From the Product and Project Planning/Budgeting perspective; migrating to the cloud will disrupt your business. The decisions and skills of your leaders may become a challenge during the migration and adoption. Migrating services and applications to the cloud needs to planned and aligned with your strategic view of the business. Your priorities for your services, products, applications and platforms will need to be rethinked. I need a call center? I need to quickly scale? What do I do with my current data centers?
When Prioritizing, organizing and executing migrations and adoptions there are many options; as part of your roadmap plan is important to understand some of the key optimization enablers that fit your business model such as: Services needed (Managed or High value), Fit (Storage type, Instances, etc.), Cost (Licensing or Purchasing), Scalability (time and event).
The key is to gradually plan on exposing these and understanding how migrating or building new services and applications would better help you accomplish your business goals.
Step 6. Devise a Short term Epic/Story/Feature and Capability Execution Plan that engages leaders and teams
Creating a strategy for migrating to the cloud involve the creation of actions for almost every single organization. Having a Roadmap plan for execution 2-3 months out is key for the successful progress and delivery of features and capabilities. These plans must be flexible, responsive and effective aligning the interests of all teams involved. BAC can help facilitate this process by engaging teams leaders and guiding the entire organization’s cloud adoption journey. Business Agility will keep your strategy open to change; enabling you to uncover potential issues respond properly. When you outline your epics, stories and begin to assign it is important to
- Establish benefits and outcomes
- Establish clear dependencies when you move along
- Establish leaders and teams
- Establish common themes and opportunities for improvement and change
- Establish a 3-4 week plan
- Inspect, Iterate and Adpat
Your Agile Cloud Migration Roadmap Plan will continue to evolve, change with new actions and dependencies the key is to engage everyone on the conversation and gain consensus on the outcomes. Insure you are communicating with stakeholders and that you are being proactive in your Journey.
Creating a detailed Cloud Adoption Roadmap plan with Agility in Mind can help you migrate to the cloud faster, realize your desired outcomes, and avoid common challenges to a smooth migration. It may also help you uncover potential issues with your planned cloud adoption, and more easily identify and implement proactive solutions. BAE can be key for guiding your organization’s cloud adoption strategy, technology integration process and team execution.
As you begin to explore your adoption it is recommend that The Adoption of cloud technologies may well begin with the experimentation of technologies and functionality of the environments. Your Cloud Adoption framework must supports and guides your organization as you create an effective plan. It provides guidance on six key perspectives common to businesses: Business, People, Governance, Platform, Security, and Operations.
For more information on how we can help your business, visit our contact page.