Author: kdle


Three (3) Must-Read Books on Digital Transformation

This article, originally posted here, and reposted with permission, seeks to point those interested in conducted, leading, or simply participating in your company’s digital transformation, in the direction of some tools that I have discovered working as the Manager for IT University of Copenhagen’s Business Innovation Lab that are not only based in scientific research but approachable from a business perspective.

Today, the calls for Digital Transformation can be heard coming from nearly every nook & cranny of practically every industry.

Evolve or die, as the newly christened adage goes. But why is digital transformation important? And as an organization how do we know we are doing it right?

In 2013, Psychology & Behavioral Economics Professor, Dan Ariely, famously compared Big Data to teenage sex and I would say that the same comparison is apt today to digital transformation:

Many organizations already claim to be undergoing a digital transformation. The most prevalent proof of this is adopting more agile methods of working and collaborating.

But a look under the hood, often times reveals, something else entirely — doing waterfall in an agile manner – which as many studies show, rarely ends well.

The Digital-Native Organization

Digital transformation is important now because what constituted a successful business model or best practices in the past are becoming or have already become irrelevant.

In the past, organizations were mainly organization-centric, focusing on getting it right internally before releasing products and service to the market.

Digital-Native organizations are customer-centric, releasing products early and often and able to incorporate customer feedback into future iterations of their products and services.

Because of this difference, the hard work of traditional organizations spend developing a competitive advantage over years, decades even, can be swiped off the map by a start-up that is digitally native, equipped with a digital business model and a culture of customer-centricity.

But never fear! Because the research that has been in done in the field of Digital Transformation is wide and deep, and thanks to these great authors, you don’t have read every peer-reviewed article on the subject to become a change agent: no matter your position in your organization.

 


Building the Agile Business through Digital Transformation

This first book, published in 2017, is an excellent place to start if you are an executive in a large organization and are interested in jump-starting your organization’s digital transformation.

What I love about this book is that mentions in a very applicable and approachable way nearly every academic article I read while obtaining my Master’s Degree in Digital Innovation & Management.

Everything from Schumpeter’s ‘gale of creative destruction’ to Boston Consulting Group’s DICE mathematical formula for accessing the risk of failure in program execution, this book dives into the depth of knowledge available to define agility, present agile innovation processes, and turn the corner to achieve the cultural change necessary to successfully transform your organization to a Digital-Native.

Perkin, N., & Abraham, P. (2017). Building the agile business through digital transformation. Kogan Page Publishers.

Radical Business Model Transformation: Gaining the Competitive Edge in a Disruptive World

This book is can be a vital tool for executive management used to understand the weaknesses of current business models in the face of industry disruption.

Published in 2017, Radical Business Model Transformation offers tools to shift resources and adapt current business practices to bake resilience into new business models and minimize risk in an uncertain environment.

Business model transformation is the prevailing theme of the modern economy. This is required reading for anyone who wants to learn how innovation can create new opportunity & growth.

Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP

Linz, C., Müller-Stewens, G., & Zimmermann, A. (2017) Radical Business Model Transformation: Gaining the Competitive Edge in a Disruptive World. Kogan Page Publishers.

Transform: A Rebel’s Guide for Digital Transformation

This last book is geared towards employees in an organization as opposed to the first two which are focused on helping business leaders understand the problem digital transformation sets out to solve.

Transform is from 2016 and is meant to empower employees who may have a more digital-native mindset than that of the culture of the organization within which they operate, hence the idea of a rebel’s guide.

The hierarchy, the status-quo, these concepts are, by definition, change averse.

McGovern posits that upper management has been overvalued and over-paid for decades and because of this fact, they will be, as a whole, unwilling to jeopardize this current reality in the name of survival.

Therefore, this book can also offer inspiration to rebel leaders in organizations who can recognize the importance of digital transformation in the face of disruptive innovation.

McGovern, G. (2016). Transform: A Rebel’s Guide for Digital Transformation. Silvwe Beach Publishing.

 

A very, very brief overview of Scrum

The godfathers of Scrum define it as, “a framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value.”

The method is made up of roles, event, and artefacts, all of which are clearly defined and work together to produce frequent product increments that can be used and assessed by stakeholders long before the project comes to an end. This ensures not only that expectations are continuously understood by all stakeholders, but also that that which is being developed will in fact have impact and create value for the clients and the ends users.

It has roots in software development, dating back several decades, but today you can find this process framework has transcended its origins and has taken root has a widely applicable project management methodology.

Transparency, Inspection, Adaption

Scrum has three pillars: Transparency, Inspection, and Adaption.

  • Transparency is important due to the self-organizing nature of the scum method, no matter your role on the team the process must be visible so that you can have a sense of shared ownership in outcomes.
  • Inspection requires that all team members inspect project artefacts and the progress being made towards a sprint goal. This can detect variances and misalignments during the course of sprint rather than having to wait until the sprint review with stakeholders.
  • Adaption is an essential piece to scrum because it informs the iterative nature of the process. The expectation is that if the project is veering off course, team members must be ready to adapt and change course.

With these pillars and an understanding of the artefacts, roles, and events of scrum you are ready to spring into action and be a part of your organization’s agile transformation.

If you want to learn more about the benefits of working agile, check out this blogpost.

Roles

A scrum team is made up of anywhere between 5 – 11 members. While each scrum team will only have one Product Owner and one Scrum Master, the diversity of the skills required will dictate the number of development team members. It is important to note that there is no hierarchy in the team, all are equal and all are responsible.

  • Product Owner: This person is responsible for ROI, product vision, and prioritizing the backlog. This person works closely with the business side and the stakeholders. An apt metaphor for this position would be that of a Foreign Minister, responsible for communicating with those outside of the product team.
  • Scrum Master:To continue this metaphor, the Scrum Master is the Interior Minister and is responsible for managing communication within the team. More than that the Scrum Master is there to facilitate the scrum process, which in many cases amounts to removing barriers and obstacles that could impede the team from doing their work. This person also capture the empirical data to produce the burndown chart — an artifact that keeps the work towards the end goal visible and can signal missed deadlines before they hit.
  • Development Team: All other team members are a part of the development team and they are a cross functional group which encompasses all the necessary skills to complete the project.

Artefacts

Artefacts are used within the scrum method to ensure transparency. Artefacts include; product backlog, sprint backlog, and product increments.

  • Product Backlog: A list of requirements written from the perspective of users. This list can be continuously updated and refined.
  • Sprint Backlog: A list of the development team’s work for a sprint which emerges in Sprint Planning.
  • Product Increment: a.k.a. DoD or Definition of Done is a functional representation of the work completed within a particular sprint which is shared with the business and stakeholders at the Sprint Review.

Scrum Events

This section will briefly describe the events which make up Scrum: Sprints, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint

Work is carried out in 1 to 4 week sprints, or time-boxed, wherein the Scrum Team works towards the creation of a working product, known as an Incremental Product Release.  A new sprint begin immediately following the conclusion of the previous sprint. Spring contain the following events: Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum, Sprint Review & Sprint Retrospective.

Sprint Planning: the What and the How

What is known as requirements specification in traditional development projects is encapsulated in the product backlog. This prioritized list is curated by Product Owner.

During each sprint, the team works through the sprint backlog which is the team’s prioritized tasks for each sprint.

Through the use of user stories and epics, the team collectively estimates the amount of hours to be spent on the tasks making up the sprint backlog and the relative value each will produce.

What makes scrum so special is its focus on consistently delivering working products that can immediately translate into creating value long before the project is completed.

These MVP like products are an excellent way to ensure the project is on track and will produce value for stakeholders from day 1.

Daily Scrum

Daily scrum are short meetings (no more than 15mins!!) where the pillars of scrum can be seen at work. The meetings are held at the same time each day and preferably in the same place where work is inspected and synchronized, and any impediments are revealed. If adaption is necessary then follow-on meetings may be made after the Daily Scrum.

Sprint Review

Once the sprint is completed the team invites the stakeholders in to inspect the product of the sprint. Remember the product must be functional.

Sprint Retrospective

This is an opportunity for team members only to discuss the previous sprint and is facilitated by the Scrum Master. Possible changes and adaptions for upcoming sprints are discussed here.

Agile as a Mindset

Going agile should not be taken lightly and it requires full buy-in not only from employees and upper management but middle management as well.

To alleviate the stress that a new working perspective can have on middle management consider closely vetting incoming candidates for their proven ability working agile and offer current employees opportunities to get educated and certified in Scrum and SAFe.

This is why BuILD has taken such an interest in this method, because doing so can create value for our passionate and career-driven students while also creating value for the organizations with which we and our students collaborate with.

Together we are preparing to face the challenges of the Digital Age and together we learning and growing. 

BuILD your Brand with us in April!

BuILD has organized several events that are geared towards recognizing and developing your brand. These opportunities are not just for students or start-ups.

If you’re a researcher looking to attract industry collaborators, join us and learn how to succinctly present findings, applications or potential partnerships in a business setting.

This event series open to all who are interested.

More than the elevator pitch, Tuesday April 10th

These days a pitch isn’t something just for door-to-door salesmen. It’s a skill that can be an advantage in almost any setting. So whether you need to pitch for group work for a course, are looking to attract investors to your latests start-up, or have conducted research that you would like to see applied in practice, we at BuILD are here to help.

On Tuesday April 10th at 14.00 in Aud 2, our good friends at Implement Consulting Group will host a Pitch Workshop, where you can get the hands-on experience and expert feedback you need to make an impression.

Sharing is caring and this event is open to all so, don’t be afraid to share with anyone you may think would be benefit from attending.

Developing your brand & Become a Content Creator, Tuesday April 17th

Branding ourselves can be very difficult especially, if we are preparing to begin a job search or are looking for outside investment in a business venture.

Creating content on sites like LinkedIn or doing guest blog posts on websites that cater to your audience are great ways for others to get to know you, your personality, and your passions.

When we say persona brand, this is what we mean; a means of marketing yourself in a succinct manner that is easily digestible, to a future employer or potential investors.

Join us in Scroll Bar on Tuesday April 17th from 15.00-17.00 for a fun hands-on workshop where Google Alum and Digital Business Consultant Thomas Grønfeldt Senger will help you identify your personal brand, produce a comprehensive outline for your first LinkedIn article post, and finally, perfect your *Tell me about yourself* response in an job interview setting.

Open to students, recent graduates and ITU employees.

Share your insights in a professional produced LinkedIn video, April 24th & 25th

You’ve done the work, so share it!

ITU’s communication department is joining us on this one, to record single-shot videos lasting  no more than 2-minutes where you can explain findings, pitch an idea, or refine your brand, with the iconic atrium in the background.

If interested in signing-up then contact us.

A Local Non-profit Combatting Food Waste Needs your Help

Co-Founders Michael Jeppsen and Kristian Bonde Jensen started this passion-project last year and are looking for purpose-driven students to test out their web-based MVP.

    Stop Madspild!

Today, students, start-ups, and non-profits are all looking for opportunities to lend their skills to a purpose that drives them.

DelDinMad is no different, a non-profit dedicated to lowering the instances of food waste in Denmark.

It started last year when the start-up’s co-founders realized that by some estimations over 30% of food waste in Denmark occurs in the household.

The concept allows users to share pictures of the food that they won’t be able to eat before it goes bad, and set up rendez-vous with other users who can use the food before it spoils.

Michael and Kristian’s solution is people-based, “we bypass the market,” explains Kristian. “and of course it costs nothing for new users to sign-up.”

Join the Movement as a Beta Tester

The team has just rolled out a web-based MVP that they are hoping to get feedback on as they work towards further app development.

Does the concept intrigue you? Do you want to learn more and try this innovative approach to combatting food waste?

Then sign-up and help the start-up gain vital knowledge that could help them take this passion-project to the next level.

UX Designers Wanted!

Are you studying UX or have a UX background and want to use your knowledge and skills to make a positive impact on the environment then join this passion project!

Apply here and don’t forget to tell them that BuILD sent you!

 

Event Recap: Strategic Execution & Value Delivery in Project Management

Last week, BuILD hosted Alexandra Chapman, Co-founder and COO of Totally Optimized Projects for a Hands-on Discussion & Workshop for practitioners as well as students.

Project Management philosophies are important because they color the way we approach the problem. Good project managers require a toolbox filled with differing approaches in order to ensure they are equipped to operate in a variety of settings.

The TOP method is just one such method, one such school of thought. There were many interesting aspects to this project management methodology that is based on over 20 years of experience including definitions of value, identifying desired outcomes, and calculating value drivers.

Defining the endgame

As is the case with many project management tools and methods, identifying the scope and parameters for measuring success are unavoidable. For example, if you are working agile, you would call it your definition of done and it represents the culmination of a sprint.

In this way path dependency is produced: how do I move my team from where we are now to where we are going? For TOP this is question is crucial. Consider Alice in Wonderland asking the Chesire Cat for directions.

From Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (1951)

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where–” said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

 

Applying TOP in practice

The methods seeks to create shared understanding of a project and its goals in order to ensure each element of the project is in face value-driven, and ultimately fills the gaps between the business and IT activities.

It accomplishes this through providing practitioners with tangible ways of codifying tacit knowledge, shifting focus from cost to value through systematic repeatable processes that link business strategy with each individual project.

TOP in the Classroom

ITU Lecturer, Christian Stadager says this of the method, “TOP is quite innovative in it’s simple approach delivering value – something I have never seen meticulously broken down into an actionable methodology.” And brought the method into his Digital Governance course for third semester Master’s students studying Digital Innovation & Management.

Sound Interesting?

If this method of project management has piqued your interest and you would like to learn more about applying it in your organization or your studies then let us know! We are happy to offer tools and guidance in any of the project management methodologies we discuss here and we are happy to help.

Event Recap: Google Hash Code @ ITU

Another great event in the books! Earlier this month BuILD hosted the Copenhagen hub for Google’s Hash Code Competition. We want to thank all those who came out and made the event a success! We would also like to thank the student volunteers who took the initiative to make their dream a reality.

37,000 Participants from Norway to South Africa

The atmosphere was relaxed and light-hearted with groups excited to hear the problem statement which was live streamed from Google Dublin. Over 37,000 students and professional participated this year, according to google it would take 22 days to drive from the northern-most hub in Svalbard to the southern-most in South Africa.

This year’s problem was about self-driving cars. Teams were asked write programs that would pick up riders and deliver them to their destination within a given amount of time.

A Fun Night of Coding

Third Year Software Development bachelor student Marcus Joost was happy to spend the evening in good company and having fun, “we joined to try our hand at solving the problem,” he says, “I’m glad I participated. We really enjoyed our evening of coding.”

Join Us at BUILD!

Are you interested in being a part of BuILD? There ar many ways to do so aside from just participating in our events. Help set our agenda by requesting to join our facebook community or fill out our Contact Form and learn more about the volunteering opportunities we offer.

 

Event Recap: Consulting Friday Bar

We want to first and foremost give a big shout out to all those who participated! BuILD exists to host events, training, and networking opportunties that create value for our students and alumni representing industry. It was a pleasure to bring together recent graduates working in consulting and current students considering the pursuit of a similar career.

If I knew then, what I know now…

Although our alumni are employed in some of the most successful consulting houses in Copenhagen, they came representing themselves to share their own experiences.

A common theme among their responses to audience questions was,  “advice I wish someone had given me”. The atmosphere was relaxed and breaks were taken to fill up our glasses a Scroll Bar, and the conversations felt honest.

Join our Community and Learn more about upcoming events

In the coming weeks we will continue to host this format of event since it has been so well received but we need your help to find our future topics.

What industries are you particularly interested in hearing more about? What positions? BuILD will scrape our vast alumni network and give you access to honest opinions from professionals who were just like you not too long ago.

Join our community on facebook and be a part of the conversation.

Scrum Master Certification with Implement Consulting Group

Join BUILD and Implement Consulting Group for this 6-week preparation course for the Scrum Master certification.

Due to the cutting-edge nature of the material we will only accept students who will be entering the job market this year, preferably masters students and recent graduates, but the opportunity for exception does exist.

This certification will be an advantage on any CV or job application, so please share this opportunity with others who could also be interested.

About the Instructor

Bernt Römer is an experienced manager within the IT domain and has recently been in charge of a four year agile transformation journey in a Danish financial company and has dealt with many aspects of ensuring successful agile development. During a number of years he has managed the daily work of a number of product owners and scrum masters and he is a certified scrum master and product owner through scrum.org as well as certified agile scaled framework consultant (SAFe ver 4.5).

Bernt holds a cand.merc as well as a SECA diploma from CBS Executive and is a certified coach

This course, valued at 20.000DKK but offered free of charge through BUILD, has been developed specifically with you in mind as current students and working professionals.

Contact us for more information about participating.

Discussion and Hands-on Workshop: Strategic Execution & Value Creation in Project Delivery

This is event is open to all interested participants so please spread the word. Register here today.

BuILD is delighted to announce that Alexandra Chapman, Co-founder and COO of Totally Optimized Projects,  has agreed to do a Discussion & Workshop on “How to execute strategy and get the value” while visiting Copenhagen from her home base in Australia.

What: 90-minute Discussion & Workshop: How to Execute Strategy and Get Value
When: Thursday March 8th at 13.00
Where: IT University of Copenhagen, Auditorium 4
Who: Alexandra Chapman, Co-Founder and COO, Totally Optimized Projects

When project success is measured by ‘on budget and on schedule’, the most important purpose of a project gets lost: delivering the benefits and value the project intends to.

Alexandra Chapman has been recognized by Cranfield University in 2017 as one of their top 50 alumni globally. She holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management, writes highly regarded articles for CEO Magazine and is COO for Totally Optimized Projects.  Over the past 30 years, Alex has dedicated her professional career to developing TOP’s tools, techniques processes. These teach organisations how to execute strategy through projects and deliver the value that organizations want.

Alex will discuss how the TOP Value Equation™ enables business value as the key measurement of project success, covering:

  • Delivering “value” in your projects – what do we mean by this?
  • The power of defining project outcomes in business terms – your desired business outcomes
  • How defining a business initiative – a project – in business terms aligns an organization from the C-Level executives to portfolio managers and to the project team
  • How linking benefits to business outcomes enables transparent benefit tracking during the project lifecycle – why wait until the project is over to account for benefits
  • How to identify the change activities required and tie them to project deliverables
  • Using financial models to track financial benefits.

During the session, participants will get hands on experience in the TOP accelerated process used to define Business Outcomes process, which is the cornerstone of the TOP Value Equation.

The Future of Change by Contest Winner Lily Li

BUILD IS THRILLED TO PUBLISH THIS ENTRY ON THE FUTURE OF CHANE WRITTEN BY LILY LI

Our job market is changing. With the automation of manual tasks, office and administrative occupations are in jeopardy. On the other hand, there is a rise in caring jobs, such as health care workers. But will this trend continue?

Challenges have already appeared. A branch of computer science called Deep Learning analyzes complex forms of data, and can be used instead of doctors to diagnose patients.

Google’s AI program that detects diabetic eye disease is just one example of artificial intelligence used in health care. Similarly, robotic surgeons can be used in hospitals for more accurate surgeries and safer procedures. Lastly, some daily tasks of nurses could also be replaced by nurse robots, such as the domestic nurse robot Mabu from Catalia Health.

This is a change that cannot be prevented, as it is much more cost efficient to use robots for these tasks than to hire humans. Instead there should be less focus on the jobs that will be transferred to technology, and more focus on the rise of new jobs as a consequence of this.

Human nurses will remain a necessity as patients need not just the physical help they can get from robots, but also the mental help and bedside manner that demands humans. In addition, all the new health care technology requires the knowledge from doctors for development and maintenance.

Research will also receive a bigger boost than ever, as doctors leave diagnosis tasks to the robots to focus on finding new cures for diseases.

By embracing this change, the development of technology will lead to cheaper healthcare that is available for everyone connected to the internet, without the mess of waiting lists. People will be more active in checking their health. With this availability, diagnoses will no longer be limited to the knowledge of the doctor, but instead all the data collected through time on health.

Furthermore, there will be more active research on cures for current diseases. However, issues will also appear as health care is connected to the world wide web.

Privacy issues, cyber-attacks and faulty data handling will be important factors to keep in mind. To deal with this change, there has to be an even bigger focus on cyber security than we currently have.

All in all, these are factors we should consider today, as we are supplementing  our work with new and better technology. With the loss of jobs in one area of health care, there will be a growth of jobs in another. The most important task at this point is for humans to embrace and develop along with the new technology in order to meet the future of change.