Where to start when you want to make your global $200m IT change portfolio agile? This was the challenge facing AstraZeneca (AZ) at the end of 2014. Within an environment of looming patent cliffs and the need to boost scientific productivity, AstraZeneca was looking to make a step change in delivery performance.
The agile approach AZ adopted focused heavily on organisation and cultural change while using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to support the transition to agile ways of working. Uniquely, AZ also used SAFe to run the agile transformation. At the time, the transition was the largest scaled agile adoption of its kind within a heavily regulated environment.
In order for change to take root in an IT organisation of over 5000 people, we needed the transition to be ‘caught not taught’. Agile adoption is different from agile transformation - we wanted a change of mindset rather than simply a change in methodology. Agile adoption at AZ has so far been extremely successful, with teams reporting significantly faster time to value delivery, reduced team sizes and improved quality.
This session will look at several techniques which we used successfully to move the AZ enterprise from a cold start to a place where AZ business teams have ‘caught the change’ and are proactively seeking out the agile transformation team about going agile.
Naveed is the agile subject matter expert at AstraZeneca and has been involved in agile transformations in several organisations. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences on agile, lean and change. He has won many speaking competitions within Hertfordshire and also delivered keynote speeches at various staff conferences - most recently at the People’s History Museum to a group of agile experts and thought leaders on the industrial revolution and agility.
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