The agile Digital Enterprise Framework

In 2015 and 2016, I had the opportunity to work on two important Digital Transformation projects. The first was “Fab and Furious” for LaPoste Innovation in Paris and the second was DM2020 for BNP Paribas Group. Both projects started with a very motivating intention but unfortunately when it came to execution, everything changed and management stepped back to long range in detail planning or postponing:

  • 50% of the budget has been spent in fancy service design activities (with all respect for service design) like inviting management for workshops in Silicon Valley
  • scope management has been replaced by customer journey management to get blueprints done
  • Blueprints were renamed as requirement list and execution is hand-over to “commodities” without the initial knowledge
  • most of the assumptions have never been tested: users? channels? partners? revenue flow? architecture`

From that frustration came the agile Digital Enterprise Framework allowing to plan and execute in a 2 weeks timeframe.

Solutions are emerging  from a small baby steps approach from hypothesis to actionable solution.

Development dynamics

The Agile Digital Enterprise Framework in-deepth

agile digital enterprise framework

1 – “PROBLEM”

It is :

  • an idea generation workshop
  • an initial alignment for common interest
  • a time-boxed rough momentum
  • the first time of stakeholder gathering
  • the Customer Journey Development

It is not:

  • a presentation, a report, a review
  • a scope, a contract
“PROBLEM” phase facilitation process

2 – “OPTIONS”

It is :

  • a solutions generation workshop
  • an initial alignment for common interest
  • a time-boxed rough momentum
  • the first time of stakeholder gathering
  • the Customer Journey Development

It is not:

  • a presentation, a report, a review
  • a scope, a contract
“OPTIONS” phase facilitation process

3 – “PROTOTYPE”

It is :

  • a single minimal valuable solution generation workshop
  • a single team prototyping event
  • a time-boxed rough momentum
  • a coded ready-to-use Alpha / Beta 1

It is not:

  • a presentation, a report, a review
“PROTOTYPE” phase facilitation process

4 – “VIABLE SOLUTION”

It is :

  • the development sprint/iteration when the Minimal Valuable Solution (MVS) is build
  • A beta 2 / Release candidate in a subset of production
  • A used feature 
  • Customer feedback on effective use of the feature

It is not:

  • Pussy-footing 
“VIABLE SOLUTION” phase facilitation process

5 – Using time as a constraint

Time is here used as a container:

  • if you cannot solve it during that time frame this means that’s not clear enough yet: maybe rework later or forget
  • sharp ideas are almost bubbling up during that period
2 weeks ADE agenda

6 – Examples of how to apply ADE in projects

traditional project management waterfall

This figure shows how projects are usually managed in large companies. When you are very lucky, some of the business analysts or project managers have created a business case (contract) but the reality is, unfortunately, sadder.

The win/win approach helps to underline at what moment “we win” and at what moment our “customer wins”.

When writing and signing the contract, the budget is used to cover all phases: blueprint, development, testing and delivery. In reality, arriving at the end of the fun part, the blueprint, you consumed most of the budget and you expect that everything is crystal clear so that a cheap workforce can execute your requirement list. And, because you need to save the budget, the subject matter experts (SME) are leaving now, a brief knowledge transfer session is made, the developers, happy to work, don´t raise up questions and the customer is kept far away of that onboarding. The consequence is that knowledge is no longer available, on-boarding hasn´t be planned, and no value is created during most of the development period (the planned one). Arriving at the end of that phase, tricks are used to deliver faster like no testing. PMOs are project managers are improving the risks alerts into on-going (orange to green aka watermelon syndrome – green outside, red inside).

Arriving at the testing stage. You only have less than 10% of budget left and you are crossing fingers that nothing bad happens. Indeed, the testers are not the same person that developed the solution making problem fixing more complicated. And yes, indeed, the developers have all been reassigned to another awesome critical project. The planned 2-month testing became 6 months delaying everything.

In the end, the customer is satisfied to get something. Not what he expected, even not what he paid for.

To avoid that, the approach has been changed:

ADE applied to projects and programs

Instead of having a 2-weeks cycle for a solution, the cycle takes here 3 months. “Blueprint” is a 100% ADE process helping to onboard all stakeholders.

Maybe this approach sounds trivial for most of you, but all the others involved in business process development, core banking roll-out. migration or SAP projects should understand.

If you don’t, you are a lucky person and just keep the first part into consideration.

Posted in: Examples, tools

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