Where to Start with Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is the ability of an organisation to remain competitive.  By using new technologies more effectively than their competitors, this leads to greater market share, lower price points, improved product and/or service quality and constant innovation for clients.  But where do you start?

This article is designed for medium to large organisations that want to know how to do this.  I’ll draw on my 20 years of experience as an enterprise and solution architect with DXC technology. I was fortunate enough to help a range of clients which I can now couple with my knowledge as a trainer, across the 12+ courses that I now run.

Click to open the infographic below to see a snapshot of the steps to take to perform a digital transformation successfully.


Here is my list of key steps in order:

Do you have questions with these steps?  Contact our awesome ALC Training team!

What is a Value Stream?

It may not be obvious, by the concept of a value stream is one of the most important concepts in a digital transformation.  Why?   Because once you understand a value stream, you start to truly understand your business and you’re on a clear path to improving customer experience.  Exceptional customer experience is your key business differentiator in the world of digital disruption and needs to be the core focus of any digital transformation.

Let’s define a value stream.  I’ll use what I consider, to be the best sources of knowledge reference. 

First from Scaled Agile.  

If you click on the image it will take you to the Leading SAFe 2 Day course I run at ALC Training.

Second from the TOGAF certification, written by the Open Group:

And here is a picture of a sample value stream map for an online purchase:

And here is another, outlining an emergency hospital admission:

As you can see it’s a simple overview, usually shown in 5-9 stages, of how a product or service starts life and is delivered to the consumer. 

As you can see, the business processes beneath can vary in complexity.  With an online purchase, the process is relatively simple.  With say intensive care, the process can be extremely complex and there are probably 1000’s or paths, depending on the type of care required.

It can also be known as:

Clearly, there are many values streams and they are quite different between industries.

Once we understand our value stream, we can then consider decomposing each component into systems and people.  An example of this is from Scaled Agile, where they define two types of value streams:

You’ll notice that the operational value stream is the one that is focused on the customer.  Whereas the development value stream is aligned to delivering systems in an agile manner.  In fact, these are development value streams are also known as a CI/CD pipeline:

So what we’ve now done, is to understand our business in the context of delivering value through software.  We cover this in our DevOps Foundation course:

Any questions on Scaled Agile or DevOps concepts, as always please reach out via twitter – @MusicComposer1 or find me on LinkedIn:

Governments Could Fall If Digital Transformation is not Successful

There are a number of examples in history, of how governments have fallen.  Either through the ballot box, through a coup d’etat or via a civil or military war.  But have you ever stopped to think that a lack of progress in a digital transformation, could be a fourth reason?

Let me back up a bit…and outline what I believe are the reasons we have a government.  Why does it exist and why we need one.  There are five:

Here is a great video that provides some more information on what government is?

Failure by governments to maintain those outcomes and deliver great customer experiences will result in disruption.  We’ve already seen this movie before right:

But hey, they’re all commercial examples.  Have you got anything that is relevant to government?  Sure:

Here is a great video explaining Brexit:

You can also extend that to local government, such as Queensland in Australia:

I talk about digital disruption and governments in the latest #AskTheCEO discussion here:

The same forces that have helped Uber, Netflix, Google and especially Apple become commercial disrupting forces, are the same for the government:

So what is the solution.  Well it’s important to understand what needs to transform in government and then do so, quickly.  Using the latest Lean-Agile and DevOps principles, along with great talent, is how Spotify undermined their competition, so government needs to do the same.  Here are three examples:

Interesting in learning more about digital transformation.  Check out a range of courses that I run at ALC Training:

DevOps Foundation

Cloud Security

Cloud Computing

Scaled Agile

Enterprise Big Data


What is Microsoft Azure and why should I use it?

Microsoft is one of the world leaders when it comes to cloud computing services.  In the last comparison of revenue streams from the cloud giants, back in Feb 2018, it seems that Microsoft was just ahead in front of AWS.

Want to learn more about Azure?  Well, there are options.  There is a great free resource from Microsoft that covers Azure fundamentals here:


Or, if you’re looking for more a hands-on 1 Day Azure Technical Quickstart to understand how to provision resources, you can check out our 1 Day course here:


You can also reach out to us, for customised Azure and Office 365 courses.

Azure is classed as an Infrastructure-As-A-Service (Iaas) and Platform-As-A-Service (PaaS) in the cloud computing world.  IaaS services are designed for system engineers, where you can set up and build servers, networks, and storage, and then install your apps on top.  If you’re in the software development business, then the PaaS services are designed for writing, testing and managing code, and target developers.  

Some important PaaS services that developers will need include:

Below is a brief snapshot of just the Compute services:

By combining together these services, you can create a rich tapestry of solutions.  It’s very similar to the age of analog electronics, where you could select oscillators, diodes and specific electronics components, to create solutions like creating a home radio.  

In Azure you can create very complex business solutions.  Below is an example of how you might integrate a complex corporate environment with Azure services, in a model known as hybrid cloud:

There are some very important services that are available in Azure, that align nicely to medium to large clients that have to comply with complex regulation.  Clients involving in banking, government, healthcare, and defence, need to maintain a level of corporate and regulatory governance, as well as a high level of cyber security protection in their cloud services.  Tools such as:

The diagram below shows an example of the types of recommendations that the Azure Advisor can provide:

Feel free to reach out anytime with your Azure of Office 365 questions or queries?


Why Governments will be Disrupted?

Digital transformation is the process of cultural,  technological and thought leadership innovation, that is required to ensure businesses remain competitive, relevant and able to survive.  Let’s break that down and explain what I mean.

Click on the image below to see ALC’s range of courses that can help with your digital transformation journey:

Cultural Innovation

This means allowing people within a business to develop and grow, by learning in a safe environment.  We often call this Failing Fast.  This helps to foster a culture within an organisation, that moves away from:

And move towards:

You can only innovate when you allow people to take risks.  But in concert, you need to provide tools and an environment for continual fast feedback.  This includes:

All these concepts and learnings appear again and again in many of the cultural change courses I run:

Click on the picture below to watch an awesome video from our DevOps Foundation course, covering Spotify Engineering Culture:

Technological Innovation

This means adopting the latest technological innovations, to help business leaders learn and act quickly.  There are many examples:

It’s no surprise that at ALC, we’re focusing on these key technological innovations:

Click on the diagram, below to see an awesome video from the Enterprise Big Data Professional course on why we use Hadoop over SQL when dealing with Big Data:

Thought Leadership

This is the most critical.  Leaders are the people in a company that pave the way for new things.  Just like in music, they are the avant-garde, breaking new ground, failing fast and leading by example.  They are skillful coaches that bring all their people with them on the journey.  They lead through:

You’ll find these leadership traits are exemplified in the following courses for leaders:

The diagram below shows you the Scaled Agile Framework, of SAFe for short.  Click on it and you’ll be taken to the FREE clickable version on their website:


If you have ever worked in a government department or a local council, there are very few examples of these digital successes.  Why?  I believe many leaders of governments, whether they be the lord mayor of a council or the elected minister, fundamentally do not understand digital disruption.  They believe it is a phenomenon that only affects commercial entities and is not relevant to them. And the ones that do try and embrace digital disruption, don’t focus on cultural change, with leaders not leading by example.

Unfortunately, it is extremely relevant.  I believe governments will be disrupted, just like every organisation in the world will be disrupted.  Charities, councils, regulatory bodies, none of them are immune.  In fact, they are the entities that are most at risk of being irrelevant.  Why?

Because for every government service, there is are much better ways of delivering, by adopting the key tenants above and embracing digital transformation.  This means, if enough people do not see the value in government services, they will protest, they will resist taxes and want to live in a place where the services are incredible. 

We’ve seen trailers of this movie before:

Click on the diagram to show you how you digitally transform your government organisation using SAFe:

Check out my latest conversation on “Navingating Digital Disruption” on the New York hit show, #AskTheCEO with Avrohom Gottheil:

Why should Enterprise & Solution Architects take TOGAF Parts 1 & 2?

Because…….Part 1 (TOGAF Foundation) only covers the theory, whereas Part 2 (TOGAF Certified) covers the practical, hands-on knowledge and experience required for real enterprise and solution architects.  If you want to learn how to really use TOGAF, you need to do both….here is why?

TOGAF is a framework for developing complex solutions.  By complex solutions, I mean solutions that involve many different components and involve more than 20 people to develop.  Examples include:

Here is a good link showing TOGAF being used in an Aviation Case Study:


It is used by IT architects, to make sure that nothing in the solution has been overlooked.  Companies working in financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, mining, consumer technology, aerospace, government and industries that are highly regulated, all require architects to be TOGAF Certified.  This means both Part 1 and Part 2.  

There are 2 levels are outlined below:

  1. Part 1 – TOGAF 9 Foundation
  2. Part 2 – TOGAF 9 Certified

TOGAF Foundation (Part 1)

This is run as a 2 day course and includes all theory.  It includes:


TOGAF Certified (Part 2)

This is run as a 2 day course, immediately after the 2 day Foundation course.  It covers exercises on how to apply the theory in Part 1, and includes:

Here is one view, of the TOGAF meta-model, (copyright Open Group):

Interested in learning more about completing both parts of TOGAF.  Check out our courses here:


If you want to learn more about TOGAF and understand what is included in the latest TOGAF 9.2 course, check out my blog article here:


And here is a special flashcard quizlet I created for you to use for FREE:



TOGAF® is a registered trademarks of The Open Group. 

What are the Benefits of using the Scaled Agile Framework?

The Scaled Agile Framework, known as SAFe for Lean Enterprises, is a large knowledge base of proven, principles, practices and competencies, that integrates cultural change practices for Lean, Agile and DevOps. The diagram below, shows the latest full version (v4.6) of the framework:

By proven, I mean that all the work contained within the framework, has been demonstrated to bring success to all types of businesses.  The success is clearly measured by the number and breadth of case studies that are available on their website.  These case studies, have been written by SAFe clients, in their own words, showing the true power of the successes they have achieved. 

Let’s step through 3 specific examples below:

Australia Post


The following information is taken from the SAFe case study and outlines the case for action, or as we say in SAFe, the burning platform….

“Australia Post has invested in its technology, people, and culture to change the way it works to focus on customer experiences and continuous innovation. To help achieve this change, Australia Post selected and adopted the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®) not only as an operating model but as a tool for change. With SAFe, the organization aims to describe, communicate, and build an understanding of how to leverage Lean and Agile principles across the organization.”

Key Benefits:


Upon launching a new online banking platform back in 2015, there was a real need to deliver additional features at breakneck speed.  Even though the launch was highly successful, winning at least one aware, the organisation needed to embrace some form of cultural change to accelerate feature delivery.  After looking at a number of cultural change methods, they decided that SAFe would be the best method.  Particularly as the methods and practices are proven and scalable, across small and large organisations.

Key Benefits:


Key Benefits:


If you’re interested in learning more, check our Leading SAFe courses:


Also check out Paul Colmer’s blog post on Leading SAFe, as he our Leading SAFe trainer.  He outlines the short story from NASA:


How Does Modern Musical Composition Echo The Trend of Big Data

I was very fortunate in 2011 to be awarded a Leading Edge Forum Grant to perform distinguished research on In-Memory Data Grid technologies (IMDG).  At the time, the term Big Data had not been coined, or at least I had never heard of it.  The 3 months of intensive study and research for the CSC Leading Edge Forum, now known as DXC Technology, lead to a path of self-discovery and a realisation of what was really happening in the data space.  Here is a link to the brochure showcasing my work: 


Big Data is now defined as the problem space, relating to the cleaning and analysis of huge data sets, resulting in a series of recommendations, a roadmap and/or defined business outcomes.  It’s further described by using the 4 V’s:

Based on my research, and because of my classical / jazz composition background, I see Big Data slightly differently.  You see when I studied musical composition at the University of Wales and the London College of Music, I learnt that the most talented composers and performers had been using the same system for around 500+ years. 

Sounds remarkable, that a single system would pervade for so long, but it’s true.  We call it tonality, or in laymans terms we use keys and scales in music.  When we learn to play a musical instrument we learn all the different scales and all the different keys.  Examples include C Major, D minor, B flat major or C# minor.  This is why there is much emphasis on practicing scales and chords.  This system is called the tonal system and is still strongly used in pop music culture, especially in the pop music charts.

Now…at the turn of the century, between 1900 and 1925 a group of composers emerged, that are now called the Second Viennese School.  And what they did was remarkable.  They pretty much started to reject the use of the tonal system, that had served mankind well for 500+ years and created a new form of music called serialism.  Simply put, that is music that does not have a tonal centre, a key or is not strictly part of a scale.  We describe this as atonalism.  To the untrained ear, it would appear that the notes seems to be random and dissonant.   This is what atonal music, using serialism composition can look like.  

You’ll see that every note on the top stave is never repeated and every note on the bottom stave is also never repeated.  This ensures that no note takes precedence and stops us perceiving any form of tonal centre, or tonality.  Below is a short video explaining serialism, if you’re interested in learning more.  


This new school of serialism, led by Schonberg, Webern and Berg, was mirrored in the art and fashion worlds, through the abstract art movement, with Jackson Pollock being the most famous.  Below is an example of Pollock’s work:

So what the hell does this have to do with Big Data, I hear you cry?

Well Big Data is a great analog of this short history lesson in modern musical composition theory.  We’ve been using relational datastores for 30 years, and apart from the emergence of a few exceptions, the most popular datastores have been SQL based, conforming to relational database theory.  These datastores are commonly known as relational database management systems or RDBMS.  Think of relational database theory as musical tonal theory.  It’s worked for a long time, so why change it?  Examples of RDBMS include Microsoft SQL, Oracle and SAP.  With a relational datastore, we store data in tables and these tables all relate to each other in a schema.  Below is a simple example:

There are other rules that need to be implemented in order for a relational datastore​ and these include following the ACID principles, and rationalising the structure using normal forms.  Here is a good article outlining relational database theory:


Then companies decided to rethink the storage of data, to help solve new, complex problems.  The challenge with relational datastores is that they are great at storing customer information and financial information, but are not very good at processing and storing millions of records, that are unstructured, with 1000s of additional unstructured data items being thrown into the mix per second, with varying levels of data quality.  Basically relational datastores are not built to cope with Big Data.  They tend to be much slower, reliant on ACID principles, and are not optimised for handling unstructued or semi-structured data.  The diagram below outlines ACID principles in an RDBMS architecture:

The first well known company to use non-relational datastores en-mass was Napster.  They created a peer-to-peer music sharing network in the early 2000’s and used distributed hash tables to link up the data via central servers.  A distributed hash table is essentialy a key value store, which links a key (name of the song and artist), with a value (a link to the mp3 file).  This means it’s super fast and able to reference unstructured data very efficiently.  This provided a very successful, timely and ground-breaking music streaming  service, similar to Spotify today.  In those days Napster was later shown to be an illegal service, which has since reached agreements with record companies and artists.  Click on the diagram below to view a short video outlining how Peer to Peer networks operate:

In parallel we see Google invent Apache Hadoop technologies to deal with vast quantities of indexing material for search engines and the Big Data ecosystem grows expotentially from there.  We now have NOSQL datastores, In-Memory Data Grids and the list goes on.  Here is an article that best describes the key differences between the most common types of technology:  NOSQL, RDBMS and Hadoop:


Be aware that there is huge complexity and variation between different types of Big Data products.  The diagram illustrates this point, by outlining the current Hadoop suite of software tools, that can be utilised in a Big Data initiative.

Unfortunately we haven’t had enough time to cover Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Deep Learning, which I’ll save for another blog post.  But these techniques, methods, approaches are all part of the Big Data movement.

If you’re interested in learning more about Big Data technologies, check out our new Enterprise Big Data Professional course:


What is Robotic Process Automation?

Robotic process automation, or RPA for short, is an emerging technology that allows you to automate business processes. It does this by mimicking the work of one or more users. I’ve seen this technology running on a thin-client machine, where the aim of the original business process was to create consulting codes. The diagram below, shows a simple example of how RPA can work. If you’re used simpler tools, like Flow in Office 365 of IFTTT.com then you’ll be familiar with this automation concept.

Let me back up a bit and explain RPA in the context of a real-world business problem.  Consulting codes are used in many organisations.  They allow consultants to book time to a client, a project or a particularly type of work.  These codes are usually entered into a timesheet and time is allocated against them.  If you work in a medium to large organisation, you’ll be familiar with the use of SAP, Dynamics 365 or other web-based programs that allow entry of timesheet information via these consulting codes.

The codes are critical to ensuring that clients are billed correctly, project spend is accurately tracked and that it’s clear what consultants  are spending their time on.  Without these codes, the business would grind to a halt, after all, not being able to invoice clients for work, is one of the most critical business processes in a business, next to paying employees and selling new products.

The most common type of code I’ve code across is called a Work Breakdown Structure Code (WBS).  You can see them in use in SAP.  The diagram below shows some of the key information that is required to build a WBS code in SAP:

So how does this work on a thin-client PC?  Well let’s take Citrix XenDesktop product.  Once built, installed and setup, using automation influenced by a DevOps culture, we have a small farm of virtual desktops that we can use as robots.  In the WBS Code example above, we need to first understand the entire business process for creating an SAP WBS process.  Below is a diagram showing how we might build the XenApp farm and build out our army of automated workers:

Let’s assume this process requires a geographically dispersed team, spread across Australia, India and Malaysia and involved 5 handoffs.  That is 5 different people that need to do something in the process.  It’s likely we’re going to have some lost time, whilst we wait for the next person to do something.  In fact I’ve seen this process take up to 5 days, when in fact, once all the data is known, it should only take 30 minutes.  The key here is that it is often the waiting time in a process, that slows things down. 

This is because it may take a few hours or days for someone to actually come to that item in their queue and process the transaction.  So clearly there is a clear driver for improved customer service, through an automated process.  Below is a diagram that illustrates a sample business process.  It outlines the process of making a pizza.  As you can see it contains a number of handoffs.  These delays between handoffs will affect the speed at which the pizza is delivered to the end-customer:​

The next step, once you have understood your process and you know what each person does at each step, you can now setup your 3 virtual desktops with all the software, the same as your workers.  It also may be possible at this stage to install all the software on a single virtual desktop and think about streamlining your process.  So let’s assume we are able to do this and stay with a single virtual desktop.

Once the desktop is setup, we can then use the in-built RPA engine to create the automation and store this as code.  This means we can view the code and optimise as required. 

Here is a video which provides an introduction to building RPA automation using a product called Blue Prism.  I’ve chosen this product, because I’ve seen this working on the SAP WBS code automation problem.  We’re using the process studio function to build our automation.


Clearly there are a few techniques within a product like Blue Prism to automating our processes.  I’ve shown you this technique as it’s very visual and simple to understand.

For more information on how to automate processes as part of a DevOps culture change program, it would be worth considering our DevOps Foundation courses.  We outline the basic principles of cultural change and discuss how tools, such as Blue Prism, Jenkins, DXC Agility, GitHub, .Net framework and many other tools, can help improve the quality and speed of your solution release lifecycle:


How Agile Project Management Enhances Software Development

Software development teams have specific requirements, especially as they usually face a combination of complex challenges. With globalised competition, the ever-shifting technology landscape, and need for highly skilled people, software development teams might need to leverage powerful methodologies to ensure they’re getting the most out of their talent.

It comes as no surprise that agile working methodologies has its roots in software development, and this is agile can improve the workflow of software development projects today.

The intricate needs of software development

Managing increasing competition and the constant state of flux in software are some of the needs of software development teams. In this trying environment, software development teams are facing a combination of specific requirements. For example, globalisation driving high competition could mean when your business comes up with an innovative idea, the chances are another software development team has too.

At the same time, rapid technological advances are driving changes in software requirements and design. It’s vital for software development teams to require various iterations of testing throughout the project cycle to meet the product goals.

And whether in-house or outsourced, it can be hard to find the right people for software development needs. The more complex the system, the harder it can be, so software development needs to work hard to find the right expertise. Software development is also faced with third-party integration and interface requirements, which increases the complexity for development teams.

Additionally, development teams are also having to deal with multiple complex user-level requirements. Stringent industry-specific, security, and compliance standards might need to be integrated into the software, which further increases complexity for development. Software development needs to wrestle with the restrictions of programming languages and development frameworks while ensuring the end product is sufficiently user friendly for its purpose.

The agile working solutions for software development

Agile methodology could offer an effective working solution for the intricate needs of software development. This is because agile emphasises assessment – through testing and incremental improvements – throughout the development lifecycle.

Agile includes specific methodologies like DSDM Atern and Scrum. These and other agile methodologies share the same values.

The Agile methodology requires software development teams to work in a “time-box” of one-month or less create a “Done” useable, potentially releasable Product Increment. The agile methodology requires software development teams to reassess the product, reiterate, and develop incremental improvements.

The iterations happen quickly, allowing continuous testing and rapid shipping of the product. As a development team, you have an opportunity to reassess the product at multiple stages to ensure it’s still meeting objectives and to change direction if necessary.

Agile gives you a structured way to approach software development projects. Along with rapid iterations, you could have a chance to reassess project priorities, track workflows, create development opportunities that lower errors, and work successfully to strict budgets and timelines.

In a challenging environment – thanks in part to globalised competition and technology advancements as outlined above – this could allow software development teams to get ahead of the competition more quickly. The result could be greater adaptability, improved communications and trusted teams. You could also end up with more efficient project planning and management.

5 ways agile management improves software development

1. Individual pieces or parts

Agile, in contrast to the waterfall methodologies traditionally used, focuses on delivering individual pieces of parts of the product where relevant. Instead of having to complete the entire application, development teams have a chance to work on incremental improvements of individual pieces or parts.

Though this could require a major cultural shift, it could make the team much more flexible and dynamic. Without the need to have a “big bang” launch, you’re working on smaller, more manageable increments with a lot more flexibility to change and adapt. You can change requirements, plans, and results as necessary for a better outcome.

2. Acceptable application response time

Another key working solution of agile could be the fact the development team works to acceptable application response times instead of industry standards. Using faulty industry standards could lead to frustrating applications rather than drive higher customer satisfaction.

3. People and communication

Another centrepiece of agile as a working solution for development teams is its prioritisation of people and communication over processes and tools. This could enhance teamwork and lead to better product outcomes.

The kanban framework, for example, is a agile working solution that facilitates real-time communication and full transparency on teams. All work items are shared visually on the kanban board so team members know what’s happening with each team member in real time.

The Scrum framework is another example of an agile working solution that facilitates real-time communication and full transparency on teams. Scrum prescribes four formal events for inspection and adaptation:

  1. Sprint Planning (what can be done and how?)
  2. Daily Scrum (what have we done today? what will be done  tomorrow?)
  3. Sprint review (what has been “done” in this sprint?)
  4. Sprint Retrospective (how did we go? How can we improve?)

4. Extreme programming

Extreme programming is a practical working principle that focuses on regular testing, a core feature of agile.

5. Lean development

Lean programming is another agile principle that strips software development down to its basics. Teams focus on features, testing, and behaviours to achieve the specified goals.

Adopt agile for your software projects

The tools of agile project management could empower development teams for only surmounting the complex challenges of the software-development environment but also achieving great product quality and customer satisfaction.

ALC Training is a leading national provider of Agile Training courses. Sign up to our AgilePM® Foundation / Practitioner Course and you can master the Methodology of Agile Project Management. Or sign up to our Professional Scrum Master Course and become an expert in Agile Product Delivery.

How Scrum Can Help You Manage Your Marketing Campaigns

Marketing agencies operate in a real-time digital environment, with instant access to information and data. Challenges can include disruption associated with technology as well as traditional ones like achieving results for customers. More than ever, marketing agencies need to have tools that help them manage and run multiple campaigns. Agile project management and one of its particular methodologies, Scrum, could be the answer. This approach can help identify challenges and quickly address them.

The challenges faced by marketing agencies

The top challenges faced by marketing agencies include the following:

3 Ways agile project management helps marketing agencies

Agile could be the key to building better marketing teams that deliver on time and within budget. Agile originated in IT but is today successfully used across many industries. The outcome could be improved communications, enhanced teams and better planning and management of multiple client accounts and marketing campaigns. Scrum can also allow you to improve prioritisation so you can quickly identify current challenges and manage your team to address them.

1. The iterative approach for effectiveness

Marketers have already used Scrum to boost outcomes and effectiveness. For example, the iterative approach to planning and guiding project process allows you to target multiple campaigns in increments known as iterations. Work can be broken down into, say, two-week sprints. This way outputs are divided into manageable chunks and ownership is assigned.

This could result in more accountability as well as rapid iteration and correction for better marketing outcomes. A daily scrum (short, 10-minute standing meetings) lets the whole team get together to identify any new challenges and address them.

2. Agile for a rapidly changing digital environment

Marketers have had to keep pace with the internet-centric, digital-focused omnichannel environment and some have found agile to be a valuable tool, especially for managing workflows and innovating quickly. Switching from a focus on annual marketing plans to using data to improve marketing outcomes has been effective for some.

A 30-day plan that uses real-time data enables marketing agencies to respond rapidly and directly to clients and leads. These shorter time frames requires faster execution by your marketing teams, and this is where agile comes in.

Moving away from the traditional waterfall workflow where the entire marketing campaign is designed from start to finish means your teams can stop working on nonexistent static targets. Instead, your teams work in small iterative steps (again, organised by sprints) with constant reevaluation built in. This ensures the work stays relevant to current conditions and feedback.

Learn how Amazon and Spotify used agile methodology to improve the way they work

3. Improved collaboration and teamwork

Another way Scrum has enhanced the work of marketing agencies is through boosting collaboration. The teams at the centre of the agile way of working can come together to collaborate on high-value projects. The iterative approach facilitates collaboration by allowing teams to complete projects, assess results (and failures), and improve results – all collaboratively.

For marketing agencies juggling multiple campaigns and ever-changing challenges, agile project management could be a way to supercharge improvements and productivity by unleashing the collaborative power of your teams. Because you’re producing rapid campaigns that can be tested and optimised quickly, you’re responding more effectively to feedback and data coming in.

Scrum is made for marketers

Marketing agencies face traditional and disruptive challenges: the digital landscape, an ever-changing marketing environment, and customer demands and tight budgets. Using Scrum methodologies can allow marketers to face these challenges more effectively. The iterative, incremental approach could improve effectiveness, and the short sprints associated with agile could support better responsiveness. Finally, agile could also enhance collaboration and teamwork for better campaign and business outcomes.

Are you ready to manage your marketing campaigns like a pro? Sign up for ALC Training’s Professional Scrum Master™ (PSM) course to become a project management guru and deliver outstanding marketing results.

How Agile Methodology Can Streamline Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure is one of the critical components of a healthy economy, though few people realise just how significant it is. To put it into numbers, a 10 percent rise in infrastructure assets improves a nation’s GDP by one percentage point. Nations that have poor infrastructure suffer when undertaking other large projects, because the roads are too narrow, there aren’t enough railways or ports are poorly designed and under-utilised.

And yet, for all their importance, large infrastructure projects often run into problems with risk management. Too often, the complexity and the scale of the projects mean that it’s difficult to plan for rapid changes in conditions, or the scope of the project.

This means that it is important for large construction and infrastructure projects to be able to adapt an agile project management approach, in order to meet unforeseen challenges that might emerge and keep projects on track.

How does agile working help construction and infrastructure project management?

Agile working originated as a technology term, used by software developers. But the reality is that the agile method can apply incredibly well to construction and infrastructure projects.

Consider one of the principle strengths of the agile methodology: agile projects are flexible in the way they deliver through iteration and increments. When designing a project around an agile methodology, you break it down into small pieces, and then release those deliverables after determining the order or priority. In this way, the final project “grows” in an organic manner, from its foundations through to finalised solution, rather than trying to deliver everything in one go.

Learn how Amazon and Spotify used agile methodology to improve the way they work

3 ways agile working helps infrastructure project management

1. Stay on track

Because the project is broken into components, approaching construction from an agile perspective also helps to keep budgets and timelines on track. Part of the agile methodology is constant feedback and assessment, while monitoring each arm of the project in real time. Project managers will regularly review priorities and status updates for each component of the project, and this means that problems can be addressed early, making the solution less expensive.

Because projects are broken down into manageable portions, there’s more opportunity to manage any problems that may appear. This helps to keep the project on schedule, with one part of the work only commencing when a previous component had been finished, reducing the risk of inefficient bottlenecking.

2. Dealing with turnover

Another issue that large projects often face is replacing staff who leave. Handovers and bringing new team members up to speed can be a time-consuming process, which is rarely accounted for in planning sessions. Under an agile working framework, someone who joins midway through a project would only need to understand the component currently underway, which is easier and less risky.

3. Visualisation

A crucial benefit of agile methodologies is that they help the entire team visualise the project, and their role in it. That visualisation can help keep a project focused, instead of a “pie in the sky” vision that can only can lead to confusion and poor discipline, as individuals on the team apply their own ideas.

Skilling up a team to approach project design through the agile methodology is not an onerous process. It’s highly beneficial to have your project leader trained in the art of agile project management, so they have access to the in-depth knowledge and advanced techniques to successfully use agile to manage large-scale projects.

Want to become qualified in the world’s leading framework and certification for Agile Project Management? Sign up to our AgilePM® Foundation / Practitioner Combined course

ALC Training offers courses in Agile methodology that your staff will love. Not only will it provide them cross-disciplinary skills that will help them in their own careers, but it’s a fast learning process that provides the modern construction organisation a considerable competitive advantage at tender, allowing them to provide their government or enterprise clients with clear, precise, and reliably costed project design documents.

Become a certified Agile Project manager

For more information on how the agile methodology can benefit companies from outside the technology space, contact ALC Training on 1300 762 592 or browse our industry leading agile project management courses such as our comprehensive Prince2 course.