6 minute read

Talking digital, agile and everything in between

I was recently lucky enough to chat with Andrew Johnson, CEO at the Australian Computer Society (ACS) about my journey so far.

Simon Moorfield
Simon Moorfield
09 July 2018

The interview gave me the opportunity to talk about AGL’s digital strategy, how we’re influencing the next generation of technologists and what businesses can do to get ready for the future.

Many organisations we consider to be technology companies today are what I’d describe as service companies of the future. These companies – realestate.com.au, Uber, Airbnb to name a few – have changed the way we might rent a car, buy a house, go shopping or apply for a job. And organisations like AGL are moving heavily towards the way that they operate.

“If you’re a bricks and mortar company today and you don’t start to act and think like these ‘tech’ companies – which are essentially service companies – in five to 10 years’ time you’re going to be irrelevant.”

New ways of working

So how can businesses get ready for the future? Well you must first accept that you need to change – and this needs to be a shared understanding.

If a company doesn’t recognise that they need to change – not only the way they go-to-market and provide products and services, but also the way they develop these products and services – it’s going to be very difficult. Once you’ve taken this step, which a lot of people don’t necessarily take, you can then focus on how you’re going to deliver the change.

There are many proven practices and paths in adopting methodologies such as Agile. At AGL we developed a framework that largely uses design thinking as a design method as well as human-centred design elements and Agile planning practices to develop and refine different initiatives. There are proven practices around design and Agile that other organisations can adopt. But you must first accept that you need to change.

Pursue, pivot or perish

When developing new products and services it’s critical to define test criteria and hypotheses from the outset. Many start-up organisations will create dummy websites to test and compare potential new products or services. They then proceed with the ideas that generated the most interest.

You need the means to test your use case, so that you can learn from the data you’ve collected and understand what you’re doing well and what you’re not doing well.

As Sochiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Company once said, "Success is 99% failure".