One Key to Open Two Doors: Creating Agility Between Business Units & IT (Part 1 of 3)

May 28, 2021 Tynan Szvetecz

Welcome to Jende's three-part series on delivering results faster while unifying Business and IT strategies. Part 1 focuses on the pace of change and the challenges Business and IT are looking to address.  Part 2 is an analysis of the ways things have been done in the past, and their limitations in today's climate. Part 3 is an exploration of the new BizDevOps paradigm, and an overview of Jende's partnership with Healthbox. 

The impact of a Jende Solutions deployment is more than just a platform and tools. It’s about achieving a foundational transformation throughout the organization. The University of Texas Medical Branch realized a $110M positive impact (and still growing) after implementing the Jende approach. Can such a substantial impact be achieved with a simple change in technology?

Impact at scale is about cultural transformation as much as it is about digital transformation. Success requires agility. If agility is the key, it needs to open at least two different doors: one on the IT side of the organization and one on the business side. Jende operates as an autonomous Agile team within a broader IT structure, supporting a full digital transformation. But that’s not the complete picture. A cultural shift toward agility needs to be adopted for business units to be poised for change. That’s what Jende partnerships add to the equation.

Jende has partnered with Healthbox to support fundamental change on the business side. Healthbox’s platform, Idealy, brings agility to business processes. Its information collection and evaluation tool bridges the gap between functional and technical knowledge in decision making. It makes data gathering, promoting collaboration, opening lines of communication, and connecting IT planning with the broader enterprise strategy easier and more efficient. With transparent communication, comes foundational transformation.

Cultural transformation challenges are not unprecedented. The culture change that ran through the banking, telecom, and retail sectors led to transformative concepts like mobile banking, Robinhood, Venmo, and same-day delivery from retailers like Amazon. Now, that same culture change is starting to move through higher education and healthcare. Institutions have to be agile to adapt.

In higher education, business pressures were forcing culture change even before the pandemic.

  • Institutions were becoming more interconnected and collaborative, requiring business units to work together and across enterprises.
  • Financial pressures surrounding changing student enrollment, faculty retention, and state funding drawdowns could not be supported through the historical culture of chasing solutions without validating the problems.
  • Less time, fewer people, and smaller budgets made it difficult to address strategic problems and increase retention of administrative staff.

McKinsey reports in "The five core IT shifts of scaled agile organizations” (April 2021) that:

“...companies that successfully embrace enterprise agility can improve financial performance by 20–30 percent, according to McKinsey research. This performance is underpinned by a 30–50 percent improvement in operational performance, a customer satisfaction score boost of 10–30 points, and a boost in employee engagement score of 20–30 points."

Those outcomes would make any Chief Information Officer or Chief Financial Officer look like a hero. Those numbers are strikingly similar to what Jende generated within the University of Texas Medical Branch (a 25% increase in faculty productivity being one example).

Pairing Jende Solutions with Idealy provides a roadmap to enterprise agility.

It helps business units answer questions like:

  • How do we build buy-in?
  • How do we create transparency into prioritizing and decision making?
  • How do we collect input from multiple teams and departments in a matrixed organization?

It helps IT units answer questions like:

  • How do we get IT and Business working on collaborative cross functional teams? Could those teams be co-managed by Business and IT?
  • How do we divide up IT systems into more granular, integrated components where small teams can support each component autonomously? 
  • How do we evolve to fully automated continuous software delivery along hundreds or thousands of releases per year?

Onward to Part 2...


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