Digiterre’s Rajesh Jethwa is named in the top 30 of the 2023 CIO 100
The ‘Agile’ methodology has swept across the landscape of customised software and digital development for huge numbers of organisations around the globe, gathering momentum especially over the last 15 to 20 years. It can best be described as ‘the ability to create and respond to change in order to succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment’ (Source: Agile Alliance).
Agile software development basically refers to a group of software development methodologies based on iterative development, where requirements and their solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. The public sector, like any commercial, customer facing organisation, has always faced uncertainty and turbulence and what’s more, on a colossal scale. How can the public sector benefit from taking a more Agile approach to digital transformation? What are the changes that need to happen?
Some of the key principles required in adopting an Agile approach to public sector digital transformation are:
As with any complex organisation, implementing successful change has many hurdles.
In the public sector, skills shortages, legacy IT systems, excessive cost and gaining executive buy-in are perhaps some of the main ones. But perhaps the biggest hurdle is the culture gap between public sector business users and Agile developers. It can take a number of forms:
Notwithstanding all these culture challenges facing the public sector in managing and implementing digital transformations, it’s important not to lose sight of the end goal – better public services and better citizen experiences. Since approximately 39% of all consumers are wanting to see the UK move faster towards its digital future (Source: Information Age), and more and more consumers seeing the Amazon Prime type online experience as ‘the norm’ these days, i.e. where they have instant access to any type of service, consumers no longer want or expect any differences between commercial and public service transaction or information delivery. Agile thinking, development and delivery clearly provide the best approach to satisfy this public sector vision in such a rapidly changing consumer and citizen environment.
By: Rajesh Jethwa
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