Transformational Change – The Agile Factor

Transformational Change – The Agile Factor

Insights | 09 December 2016

With the current pace and pressure of change, successful delivery of programmes focusing on transformation has become paramount for both private and public sector organisations. This is reflected in the emergence of such terms as the TMO (Transformation Management Office).

Transformations are typically complex, ambiguous and disruptive, providing a means to pioneering new ways, using unproven technology, radically restructuring previously accepted norms and behaviours, and can instigate long term societal effects. Contrary to reality, the expectation is that transformations happen in a smooth, streamlined, collaborative manner – and of course – that they happen ‘now’.

To date, Managing Successful Programmes (MSP®) from AXELOS has provided a robust but flexible framework for many programmes. MSP® is an approach which is ideal for business transformations and political/societal change. The current version does not especially address agile principles and practices – yet looking at MSP holistically, it is not in defiance of agile ways.

But what about real Agile Programme Management?

Enter AgilePgM™ from DSDM®. Interestingly, AgilePgM™ assumes some prior knowledge of and experience in programme management including a programme management method (such as MSP®). AgilePgM can be used as standalone or combined with, for example, MSP®.

So what does AgilePgM™ provide?

AgilePgM™ provides guidance incorporating governance and rigour with agility and flexibility to be able to run programmes in an Agile environment and/or to run Agile programmes.

AgilePgM™ includes 5 key elements:

1. Philosophy.

Simply put, the overriding philosophy is:

“..an Agile Programme delivers what is required when it is required – no more, no less.”

AgilePgM Handbook, DSDM

2. Principles.

Like other frameworks and approaches, AgilePgM™ has 5 principles, addressing the following:

  • Strategy alignment
  • Early realisation of benefits
  • Coherent capability (including consistency and synergy between projects)
  • Decision making delegated to the lowest level possible (think empowering teams)
  • Ability to include both Agile and ‘non-Agile’ projects

This last principle should spark interest from many, as realistically this is reflective of our current landscape. Programmes today will often include projects running to agile practices and those applying other methods.

3. Programme Lifecycle.

AgilePgM™ addresses 6 phases, incorporating iterative and incremental practices:

  • Pre-programme
  • Programme feasibility
  • Programme foundations
  • Capability evolution (includes process of capability enablement and benefits realisation)
  • Tranche review
  • Programme close

4. Other areas of focus.

Although not officially named as such, these could be seen as knowledge areas or themes:

  • Roles
  • Governance
  • Stakeholder engagement, communication and management
  • Planning
  • Management and control
  • Quality management

5. Products. 

Or as some prefer, programme management documents or artefacts. AgilePgM™ is centred around 4 core products:

  • Vision statement
  • Business architecture model (the desired future structure of the organisation)
  • Prioritised benefits definition
  • Programme plan

Other documents include a business case, tranche plan, programme control pack and governance strategy.

“…AgilePgM represents the very latest knowledge and learning around the successful delivery of major business transformations and initiatives.”

AgilePgM™ Handbook, DSDM


Click here for more information on our AgilePgM™ (Agile Programme Management Foundation) and MSP® (Managing Successful Programmes) certificate courses, or phone us today on 1300 70 13 14.

MSP® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.
DSDM is a registered trademark of Dynamic Systems Development Method Limited in the UK and other countries.
AgilePgM™ is a trademark of Dynamic Systems Development Method Limited in the UK and other countries.

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