INTERVIEW OF THE MONTH
INTERVIEW WITH MR. JAY KELLER
Vice President Project Management Office &
Vice President Information Services / CIO,
Our Daily Bread Ministries
1. What shifts are you seeing in driving enterprise process agility? How is technology accelerating this shift?
Agile for an enterprise is all about alignment. You cannot be agile “in pockets” and expect the outcome like an agile development group can deliver. Enterprise process agility starts with a process review from start to finish. At Our Daily Bread, we, for example, aligned the Project Management Office with the Delivery Side of the business which covers the whole process of project initiation to the final delivery. This presentation will give you an idea on how to integrate the PMO Process with the Agile Process.
2. What do you believe will be the future of jobs in this scenario?
If you want to be successful as a company and react fast to the ever changing demands of the market place, your only option is to become agile. Millennials are not willing to work the old fashioned way of “waterfall” where you run a project for month and month without delivering anything to the requester. This is not really the way we are wired anyway. Find a customer who can tell you to the dot what they want and how it should look. Good luck with that. Most of the time they can tell you what they do not want after you show them what you did. So, our mantra is fail fast – fail forward, meaning that we deliver something within a week and have the customer evaluate that. Our delivery times for a finished product came down by 50 – 70 %. The costs of a project follow that same pattern. User satisfaction is up 400% and team engagement is as high as it has never been before. The team is seeking out new challenges based on this “art of working” and would never go back to any other way of engagement. The demand for people with agile skills is high and job satisfaction is stellar. The future is agile, it is here to stay.
3. How are enterprises structuring themselves to support an agile enterprise?
Agile done right will change the company from ground up. Even financial discussion on funding are completely different then the “Waterfall” project discussions. Agile usually starts in the technical department (IS, IT, Engineering) and the earth shattering changes an Enterprise sees with these departments gets them thinking on how to do different areas according to the Lean and Agile principles. In our case, marketing started to embrace Agile in their processes due to the fact that they were exposed to the agile process within the IS department. After marketing started, the Agile movement went upstream pretty quickly and now publishing is starting to use Agile in certain areas. The teams are not working the same way anymore but rebuild themselves to match the process. In other words, once you start agile in a pocket of the company, it will spread based on the results it produces. However, if there is a pocket of resistance, top management needs to step in to change the team’s attitude towards Agile by defining expectations clearly.
4. Could you share some innovations and good practices that you have implemented to drive business process agility?
Sure. Our first project was to develop a mobile application for our members that would allow them to read our devotional content in one application that could hold several different languages. The project was scoped to take 9 months and quite an amount of money. We changed that team to use agile processes and we developed the application in 3 months and delivered the final product with 7 different languages after 4 months to the end-users. 6 months ahead of schedule for the first 3 languages. The following process is what we use today to get the process rolling smoothly and as you can see, alignment is the key.