Out with the old, in with the new: themes of 2017, predictions for 2018

Out with the old, in with the new: themes of 2017, predictions for 2018

Insights | 09 January 2018

As we look ahead to the next 12 months, we can reflect on the past year and consider what’s worked, what hasn’t and how to control the uncontrollable and manage the unexpected.

The need for velocity vs the need for speed

In our experience, the theme of 2017 was speed – how fast can your organisation adapt, pivot or transform, and do it sustainably?

Quite simply, organisations need to continue to accelerate. The move towards Agile and Lean practices in business has become increasingly apparent. Many traditional companies are still experimenting with agile practices in discrete pilot projects and realising modest benefits from them. However, fewer than 20 percent consider themselves “mature adopters”, with widespread acceptance and use of Agile across business units.

Organisations that can deploy Agile at scale can accelerate innovation by up to 80%. Given those statistics, there’s still some way to go. We’ll see agility at scale take off in 2018.

Business Agility for the whole business vs pure Agile for IT

While Agile has gained acceptance outside of software development, organisations must also recognise that a pure, agile-only approach is impractical. Moving into 2018, organisations will create appropriate hybrid models and will better select where Agile is appropriate to deploy.

2018 will be the year that Agile moves out of the IT shadows, scales to the enterprise level and into the mainstream to become true Business Agility.

By achieving Business Agility, the whole entity can respond and pivot to opportunities and threats. By changing the DNA of an organisation, it can disrupt itself before something else does, reducing risk and building competitive advantage.

Business Agility brings together not only fit-for-purpose agile delivery, but combines it with effective agile governance, leadership and strategic alignment and value-driven outcomes supported by new approaches to planning and budgeting.

The right skills in reality vs right skills on paper

With each passing year, organisations are becoming increasingly aware that the right people are critical to the success of their transformation or change effort. In reality, the right skills on paper often doesn’t translate, if skills are out of date or the project team changes midway through.

2018 will see millennial project managers make their debut. These are digitally native, highly adaptive and transient individuals for whom change is innate. They are effectively Agile by nature. It’s important to harness their skills, while ensuring they integrate with other team members.

Across the board, emotional intelligence will be the most desired skill for new project managers and this is an area for team members to become skilled and more practised in.

As we conclude, some notable industry highlights include the establishment of the Australian Transformation and Turnaround Association and including the first ‘Fellow of Transformation Management Course’ at ANU.

For our business, we are grateful for the continued support of our clients, we’ve achieved tremendous work in the Transformation Practice and successfully continued our focus on delivery. Looking ahead, our work with Agile Portfolio Management will put us in a leading position in the market for Agile.

To find out how we can help you accelerate delivery and results please speak to our team on +65 6818 5771.  For more information on our Agile Services please click here.

About The Author

Ken Sheargold, Chief Executive Officer at PM-Partners group

Ken joined PM-Partners as a Transformation Consultant in February 2016 and will be taking on the role of CEO on May 8th 2017. Ken is responsible for delivering major transformational change where there is complexity, risk, many inter-dependencies and conflicting priorities.

Prior to joining PM-Partners group he held a number of executive appointments in the NSW Government and Telstra Corporation.

His most recent appointment in government was the Executive Director, Premiers Implementation Unit directly responsible for supporting the Premier in the delivery of his key priorities across NSW. Prior to working in the Department of Premier and Cabinet he was the Executive Director of ServiceFirst, the shared services organisation responsible for the provision of shared services to the central agencies of government.

He was the Program Director and commercial lead for the outsourcing of ServiceFirst that successfully executed contracts with Unisys and Infosys in June 2015 with a total contract value of $235 million dollars.

Prior to joining the NSW Government, he held a number of senior appointments in Telstra Corporation. Those appointments included Executive Director Corporate Strategy and Customer Experience and Executive Director Service Advantage.

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