How Agile & Stable (Waterfall) Methods Can Be Combined
11th December 2019

How Agile & Stable (Waterfall) Methods Can Be Combined

A critical topic of the conference panel that Kristy facilitated on The Intersection of Organizational Agility & Agile Teams is that established organizations can achieve agility through a bifurcated organizational model.

As rapidly advancing technology enables startups to reshape entire industries, geopolitical forces upend markets, and employees expect digital dexterity, established organizations can crumble without the ability to respond rapidly. Today’s business environment requires operating models that combine speed, flexibility, and a dynamic model with excellence in quality control, safety, and regulation compliance. At OTM, we have attained considerable success with our clients by co-designing bifurcated organization models comprised of both agile and traditional hierarchical teams.
The key factor in realizing the benefits of a hybrid model is to set up boundaries and sub-boundaries that keep complex work whole – and that are managed using either Agile or traditional methods – but not both. The first decision that needs to be made is: What work are we going to put into the Agile working boundary? And what work are we not? Oftentimes the answer is constrained by available capable resources. Technically capable functional managers must be engaged within the Agile boundary to ensure Agile principles and values are sustained effectively.
Getting it right is worth it. An organization’s ability to adapt and respond with agility has been shown to provide a distinct competitive advantage – with agile organizations outperforming their competitors by more than two to one.*

*Worley, Christopher and Pillans, Gillian: Organization Agility, Corporate Research Forum, 2015; Worley, C., Williams, T., and Lawler, E. The Agility Factor. Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2014

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OTM is the leading global boutique organization design consultancy with offices in the USA and UK. With over 450 successful redesigns and operating model modernizations completed, OTM is owner of the industry’s most integrated, comprehensive and holistic organization design solution. OTM enables its clients to realize their future ambitions.


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