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  • Emergent Themes from Cordence Digital 2019


    On October 9 and 10, member firms of Cordence Worldwide came together in London for Cordence Digital, our annual technology and digital event. Designed to be a pragmatic discussion about our clients’ biggest challenges in digital transformation, we combined our member conference with a client event held at the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

    What themes came to the fore?

    Our client event (“Product, Agile and DevOps:  The Perfect Transformation Recipe”) was built around the use of Product, Agile and DevOps as enabling disciplines in the move to digital. Our clients asked insightful questions, traded ideas and shared their challenges. Some common emerging themes included:

    • Convincing their organization to move from stage gate thinking to outcome based measurements on digital, technology and agile projects
    • Agile’s insistence on flexible outcomes and dates based on structured activity for iterative, constantly groomed work is in conflict with fixed timeline, fixed budget, “must get this feature” mindset
    • DevOps process being blocked by separate and siloed security and compliance structures
    • Driving board level alignment on how to measure the value of digital work
    • The difficulty of creating permanent product teams rather than product creation teams (those that build then turn over to others for ongoing support)
    • How to change traditional corporate capex/opex annualized funding/budgeting models with value stream funding of agile and product environments.

    What we found interesting is these challenges had nothing to do with technology (“what DevOps tooling platform should I use”) or technique (“what’s the best way to run a retro”) or training (“how do I better understand what product means”).  Instead, these challenges are about creating alignment, changing operating models and changing culture to support these initiatives and this shows overall progress in digital maturity. It shows the base concepts and value are better understood and the early-majority/late-majority adopters now need help accelerating adoption and operationalizing these changes.

    Put another way, “Digital Dinosaurs” need to become “Digital Dragons”, and we believe this requires work related to the following three categories:

    •  People
      • How to find and create resilient, lifelong learners to help organizations become more adaptable to constant change
    • Operations
      • How to infuse data (collection, cleansing, analysis, data driven decision making) into the lifeblood of the company
      • How to remove the IT/Business divide and can the two even exist in separation anymore?
      • How to make Agile, Produce and DevOps standard disciplines in all organizations through education, alignment, and changes to traditional business operating models
    • Culture
      • How to surround the people in the firm with the right “stuff” to help them succeed, grow, be happy and find purpose with their companies

    What's next?

    Over the next 12 months, the attending member firms (Horváth & Partners, Key To Way, North Highland, Oresys, State of Matter, and Valcon) will be publishing our thoughts on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook under the hashtag #CordenceDigital to share our thinking, drive discussion and, ultimately, help our clients create long term sustainable digital transformation. 

    Thanks to Ben Grinnell, Catherine Grayson, Jacron Pagel, Gert Hemmingsen, Lasse Mortensen, Tobias Beuckes, Peter Kanti, Young Kwon,  Peter Lawrence, Erik Ghesquiere, Geetha Chandrakumar, Brice de Curraize, Andrew Keene, and Alison Williams for coming to London and driving such a successful two days!

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