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.
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.
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.
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?