Agile project management has been rapidly gaining advocates since a selection of leading programmers met in Utah in 2001 and created the Agile Manifesto.
Their idea was that iterative and incremental short development cycles focused on specific elements of a project would boost collaboration and product delivery speeds.
CIOs and other IT leaders quickly took note. CIO UK hears how they're using agile in their organisations.
Read next: Agile project management CIO guide - The pros and cons of Agile methodology
Additional reporting by Hannah Williams.
April 9, 2019
2. Jacky Wright - HMRC
HMRC Chief Digital and Information Officer Jacky Wright has been using agile as part of a transformation journey that aims the help the organisation move at a faster pace.
Wright was responsible for overseeing the transformation from outsourcing to insourcing, and although many of the previous vendors are still involved with HMRC, a new tone was set on partnership and collaboration rather than a transactional relationship.
"It's completely broken up," Wright said. "However, the majority of the suppliers who provided the service are still in play. They do still provide a great deal of our services that they did before.
"But before they owned it and ran it for us, and today we're looking at something different; we're looking for them to really partner with us and help us understand what we need to do to reduce our operating cost, to become more agile.
"It's becoming a true partnership, versus an order-taking relationship, which I think has been historically, for the most part, the way our partners have worked with us."
Read next: HMRC Chief Digital and Information Officer Jacky Wright interview - Developing a new operating model and culture for the digital era
3. James Munson - DVSA
DVSA Director of Services and Technology James Munson has gained executive level buy-in for the agile ways of working that his digital transformation strategy requires by getting them together to explain the concepts and answer any questions they might have.
A the Gartner Symposium and ITxpo in Barcelona, he conveyed the power of an agile way of working by presenting the executives with pictures of an architectural project that he and his wife had undertaken. They had planned to build an extension on their house, but it took a year before the architect's drawings were being constructed.
"I honestly think - and this is what I said to them - that if we'd got all those people together in our dining room, with my wife and I as the customer, and we had worked it in a few sprints, I reckon we would've got there in a month," he said.
"It's just that idea of working as a multidisciplinary team together on a daily basis - you feel as if you can make much quicker progress than if you are using a more Waterfall approach," he added.
Read next: DVSA Director of Services and Technology James Munson driving the journey to agility
6. Jane Moran - Unilever
Jane Moran has been using agile to create a platform-based approach that blends growth, innovation, disruption and legacy at the 88-year-old consumer goods company.
Moran has combined agile squads drawn from her IT team, business partners and third parties to help staff "think differently about technology, and their role in technology".
New roles such as solutions architecture experts and senior software engineers have been added to the agile mix to make the company faster and more responsive.
"We've also had a fundamental shift in how we work, from simultaneously running a large portfolio of projects, to focusing on about 30 key strategic technology platforms," says Moran.
Read next: Unilever CIO Jane Moran interview - Developing an Agile platform for growth and innovation
7. Andrew Quail - SGN
Director of IT and Innovations
Andrew Quail has made the gas distribution company more agile by moving the IT estate to the public cloud and creating an environment in which vendors have to work together for shared success.
All of these had to be overcome within a new vendor landscape. Quail ensured that he was getting the right services from these suppliers through an emphasis on mutual benefits.
"There's a lot of new technology being used and different ways of working. I would say all organisations and all of the industry vendors in my landscape are having to learn and having to adjust in order to support what we're doing here, and I have to say they are," he says.
"It's quite different from the go to market, find a contract, sign the contract, let it run model. It's much more iterative, much more – dare I say – agile, and much, much more engaged."
Read next: Andrew Quail reveals how SGN works with regulators on digital strategy
9. Mayank Prakash - Department for Work & Pensions
Department for Work & Pensions Chief Digital and Information Officer
Mayank Prakash has delivered more than 20 agile iterations to help build universal credit, Europe's largest digital product.
Prakash has used an agile methodology as part of his effort to develop a new
operating model at the DWP based on a create at pace. bottom-up culture and building multidisciplinary teams around products to
"The way we work is as vital as the services we run," he
told . "In DWP digital we foster a culture of collaboration and inclusiveness, where teams work together across boundaries, iterate and show progress every week, and are curious and supportive. CIO UK
"We've redesigned our organisation in favour of multidisciplinary agile teams iterating frequently and delivering often. No longer do we spend all our efforts tracking milestones on a plan. Instead, we ask ourselves 'what did we deliver last week'?"
"We collaborate closely with colleagues from DWP policy and operations, using their knowledge and expertise to design digital services that meet the needs of our users, with shared accountability for outcomes."
Read next: Departing DWP CDIO Mayank Prakash reflects on four years in the role
11. Fin Goulding - Aviva International
© Aviva International
Aviva International CIO Fin Goulding is so enthusiastic about agile that he wrote a book on the subject.
Flow: A Handbook for Change Makers, Mavericks, Innovation Activists and Leaders uses real-life case studies to show how to develop an agile culture.
Aviva has used agile to reduce the time it takes from an idea to become a product from months down to days, and plans to further cut this time down.
Goulding believes that culture andbehaviour are essential to make agile work, and that many organisations fail by instead focusing on protocol.
"Agile has become bogged down in certification and consultancies telling you how to do stuff, and scaled frameworks that no one understands," says Goulding.
"People are monetising Agile. It was all about being simplistic, making things simpler and continually learning, and cutting down on the bureaucracy; but now we're adding to it."
Read next: Aviva International CIO Fin Goulding interview - Bringing Agile flow to 'Jurassic' insurance sector