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Take the lead! Why CIOs play a major role in making organisations more agile

Søren lehn | Computerworld | 13 november 2017

Read the full article in Danish

In a byline article, PA Consulting Group’s IT transformation expert Søren Lehn shares his view on why the chief information officer (CIO) and his or her team should take the lead and show the organisation how agile methods can be applied in practice. 

Most CIOs, IT developers and project managers have applied agile methods to complex software development project for years, and know their SAFe from their Scrum and Kanban. But agile methods may no longer be the IT department's best kept secret. Agile methods are slowly, but surely, spreading to other parts of the organisation and indeed members of top management who are starting to see how agile methods can help streamline work flows, boost productivity and speed up time to market. 

However, most organisational leaders are still new to the agile way of working.

Søren says: "They may be able to talk about agile on a basic level, but at the end of the day, nine out of 10 leaders still prefer the waterfall process model because they are familiar with it. It lets them predict the outcome of a project and budget accordingly. They can depend on it to control projects - or so they believe."

Agile methods allow for control in a different way, argues Søren. By working in reiterative "sprints", organisations can react to changes and adjust their goals in time. Being agile is an increasingly important skill at a time when many organisations are in the midst of a digital transformation that makes it virtually impossible for them to predict how their customers or the market will react.  

He concludes: "No one understands the agile methods better than the CIO and his or her team so it´s only natural that they lead the way and show management how they work in real life and help their organisations reap the benefits."

Søren Lehn is an IT transformation expert at PA Consulting Group.

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