As startups disrupt every market and tech giants pull further ahead of entrenched businesses, the majority of enterprise IT organizations are facing an existential crisis. Either they quickly become much better at software delivery, or they risk becoming a digital relic.
Mastering large-scale software delivery will define the economic landscape of the 21st century, just as the mastery of mass production defined the landscape in the 20th. Unfortunately, business and technology leaders are woefully ill-equipped for the Age of Software because they are using management paradigms from past technological revolutions. While technologists adopting DevOps and Agile have already made the transition, the gap between modern technical practices and the business has only widened in the process. We need a new approach in order for the majority of the world’s organizations to thrive in this new age.
Numerous methodologies and frameworks exist for transforming, modernizing, and reengineering every aspect of your business. Some, like the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), are focused on enterprise software delivery. Recent advances in DevOps practices address bottlenecks in how software is built and released. Other frameworks, like Geoffrey Moore’s Zone Management, address transformation from a business reengineering point of view.
Such practices and frameworks are as relevant as ever, and the Flow Framework™ assumes that the best-suited practices for your business are already underway. The role of the Flow Framework™ is to ensure that the business-level frameworks and transformation initiatives are connected to the technical ones. It is the isolation of these initiatives that is causing so many transformations to stall or to fail.
A large gap exists between what technologists have learned about effective software delivery and how businesses approach software projects. While DevOps and Agile principles have made a significant impact on how technologists work, they have been overly technology centric and have not been adopted broadly by business stakeholders. To bridge the gap, we need a new kind of framework that spans the language of the business with the language of technology and enables the transition from project to product. We need that framework to scale the three ways of DevOps – flow, feedback, and continuous learning – to the entire business. This is the goal of the Flow Framework™.