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Bimodal development: A mixed approach


Bimodal development is an enterprise approach mixing traditional IT methodologies with those that are built with the dynamic nature of the digital world. Enterprises must strive to become the frontrunners of innovation, or risk being left in the dust by their competition. "Bimodal development" was coined by Gartner to warn their clients and the marketplace about preparing to incorporate digital innovations into the way they operate, or risk being disrupted.

Gartner suggested "marrying a more predictable evolution of products and technologies (Mode 1) with the new and innovative (Mode 2) is the essence of an enterprise bimodal capability." In other words, enterprises no longer need to choose between waterfall and agile methodologies; instead, they can embrace a bimodal approach, using both methodologies to achieve stability and agility.

While many IT teams have lived in the world of agile for quite some time, most IT organizations have not taken that same approach to the broader aspects of their PMO, Portfolio, and Enterprise levels. Often, here at Jira Align, we find that many enterprises have Agile teams under Waterfall management. We often hear the cry, "Help! Our teams are agile and our management is Waterfall!" (Watch a webinar on this topic here.) However, there are some fundamental approaches organizations can follow in their Agile adoption to de-risk large-scale agile change management initiatives by leveraging bimodal concepts and capabilities.

At Jira Align, we know that transformation does not occur overnight. The move from traditional development models to an agile framework may need to be paced throughout the organization, so not all groups can transform simultaneously. Jira Align is the only agile lifecycle management solution that accommodates not only any agile framework, it natively supports a bimodal approach to work to ease the pain of agile transformation at scale. Here are just a few ways that Jira Align supports this need:

•  Scorecards and project intake process allowing organizations that score and rank projects in their portfolio to execute their strategic planning process.

•  Capacity and resource planning modules allowing PMOs and project managers to simultaneously model resource allocations across both waterfall and agile areas of the organization.

•  Forecasting and "What If Analysis" modules allowing you to predict delivery horizons across both waterfall and agile areas of the business.

•  Enterprise financial reports allowing you to plan, measure, and report on financial aspects of the software delivery process.

•  Milestone-based planning and tracking allowing you to plan the delivery of software in a commonly understood approach.

•  Project-based dependency model allowing portfolio managers responsible for strategic planning and roadmapping to link high-level projects not just delivery features.

Enterprise agility is required to effectively compete in every industry, especially the technology arena. At the same time, traditional approaches can provide stability and proven experience that edge out the competition. Therefore, a bimodal approach is the reality of today's digital transformations, and it may be here to stay. Driving alignment and coexistence between waterfall and agile will help your organization survive and thrive in this rapidly changing world.

"We have to be able to be fast to market and be able to reduce the time from idea to implementation. Tools like Jira Align that help us do that are strategically important."

Mike Hoffman

Senior Director, Cornerstone OnDemand

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