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Methodologies & Frameworks
Why I Wrote The Book Metagility: Managing Agile Development For Competitive Advantage
Here’s the story behind how the book Metagility came to be. A little over a decade ago, I began working for a firm that was developing innovative smart grid products for the power utility industry. The company was in a race with several vendors in this “industrial IoT” space to gobble up as many regional power utility customers as possible—but they were stymied by scalability challenges and security problems. Most of all, they struggled to develop the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing technological landscape with some very forward-thinking competitors. Management knew that adopting a more “agile” approach to development was critical to the company’s vision of being the industry leader, however, success was elusive. The company tried and tried again to effect an agile transformation with lackluster results. Casualties included the careers of several executives, a revolving door of highly paid consultants, and the morale of most of the developers and engineers on the team. At about this time, I had decided to go back to school and obtain a PhD in business. I thought, “Why are agile transformations so hard?” And similarly,
  • Why do so many fail, while others achieve fantastic results?
  • How is agility measured?
  • If we are successful, how do we know when we get there?
  • How could I apply my newfound skills in research to find out?
I then embarked on a multi-year study to develop a solution. Using engaged business research, qualitative analysis, and grounded theory, I found the answers to these questions and many more. Over a period of several years, I published my research in a variety of business and technical journals, which were peer-reviewed by experts from all over the world. A couple of years ago, I decided to organize this research into a new framework and make it available to practitioners by way of a new textbook, and Metagility was born. Metagility discusses screenshot

A page from Metagility discusses the challenges of technology product development.

The framework is so substantive that it was recently awarded a US patent, with a second patent on the way.
Metagility has the unique distinction of being the only agile framework that has been based on engaged scholarship and awarded a patent.
Metagility has enabled countless organizations to become number one in their markets. The theory of “agile vorticity” provides insights into where you and your organization stand with respect to agility and how to maximize organizational capability. agile vorticity screenshot

The theory of “agile vorticity” helps organizations calibrate themselves according to agility and organizational capacity.

For many, it has resolved the problem of “agile transformation” by providing game-changing solutions such as hybrid agile implementations that have proven successful in some of the most challenging situations. process agility screenshot

In the book, I investigated and explained how hybrid agile implementations have proven successful in some of the most challenging situations.

After publishing the book, I embarked on a tour to evangelize it to the practitioner community. I was surprised, and humbled, as people lined up after my speaking engagements to have me autograph their copies. It was truly a life-changing experience.
Agile transformations, done properly, can change not only companies, organizations, and teams, but individuals as well.
There’s no better feeling than to know that your work has helped transform people’s lives. After all, we spend a third of our life at work, why not leverage agile to make the most of it?
By David Bishop

Dr. David A. Bishop is a technologist, consultant, researcher, entrepreneur, and instructor with over 25 years of experience in telecommunications, transportation, government, and utility industries. David holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology, an MBA with a concentration in IT management, and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Georgia State University. He is the author of Metagility: Managing Agile Development for Competitive Advantage, Elizabeth’s Song, The Big Brother’s Guides, and numerous other books and articles and is a frequent contributor to IEEE’s Engineering Management Review, and an inventor of several U.S. patents. David is CEO and Founder of Agile Worx, LLC, a firm that provides program and project management software tools, training, and consulting services. He is a member and committee chair for the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) based in Geneva Switzerland, a member of ANSI, and a Senior Member of the IEEE and the Association for Computing Machinery. David is also a research associate with the Center for Engaged Business Research at Georgia State University, and founding chair for the Atlanta chapter of the IEEE Technology and Engineering Management Society.

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