The four-part, holistic approach to application delivery

There is a growing demand for application development teams to become more closely aligned with the business and adaptable to change.

We recently spoke with more than 75 organisations to address this issue and found that in order to operate in an environment of rapid change that's driving business growth, application delivery organisations must combine bottom-up and top-down approaches.

The most successful transformation programs are based on a Lean framework that incorporates strategy, business alignment, people, process, and technology, while providing principles and practices that maximise value, reduce waste, and speed change response time. Here are some guidelines:

Build a Change Management Framework for Success
In order to establish a holistic change program, establish a foundation for change that will drive success at the practice level, providing both direction and support for other more tactical initiatives.

To begin, assign a specific organisation responsibility for encouraging and managing change. For example, at one large financial services firm, this meant two dedicated resources combined with part-time contributors, while at a large pharmaceutical company, an entire group was dedicated to change management, combining employees and external consultants.

But, no matter how many people are responsible, those in charge of encouraging and managing change must be able to communicate effectively across the organisation, keeping stakeholders up to date with progress reports, and results of change.

Additionally, they should focus on understanding value streams or business capabilities, as these enable the transformation group to recognise how application delivery adds value to the business.

Closely Align Delivery Transformation with Business Priorities
Although many of the organisations we spoke to cited flexibility, cost reduction, product quality, and customer satisfaction as the main business drivers for transformation, strengthening business alignment was not always a top priority.

Although application delivery is expensive and often strategic, its leaders are rarely able to transform their organisation using a holistic approach, while the rest of the business often can.

To alleviate this disconnect, application leaders can gain business trust and strengthen alignment by realigning workers into Lean, cross-functional teams, and by increasing communication with business leaders on collaboration opportunities, such as improving the design aspect of the customer experience.

Additionally, application development teams can achieve further alignment with the business by developing a vision and strategy for IT in the future that is based off the business strategy that has already been developed by business leaders.

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