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Digital Innovation and Developing Digital Strategies

Digital transformation reshapes every aspect of a business. As such, there are many new digital innovations and strategies that are evolving in the current high-tech and Internet-connected era. However, many times businesses don’t have an integrated plan that helps them grow and stay innovative.

In an interview with Fast CMO, Amber Blaha, CMO of Ness Digital Engineering, shares some interesting insights on how Ness helps clients stay innovative in today’s competitive, digital market. She also talks about what excites her the most about marketing at Ness and lessons learned from her own career journey in marketing. “It makes sense to get away from your usual frame of reference, because it’s hard to be innovative if you’re always considering the same input. Clients value our ability to help them draw inspiration from all corners of the broader market ecosystem, as well as from learning from other business processes – sometimes from within their own organization. The key is having them take the time to focus on gathering this perspective,” states Amber.

Read the article for insights on how to put businesses on a path of innovation, how to use customer inputs, market trends and more insights:

Continuous Delivery – Improvement Requires More Than a Good Framework

I’ve been working as an engineer inside Agile Scrum teams for many years, and I’ve been reading the ideas put forward by many thoughtful experts (see extensive bibliography at the end of this article). I want to add my perspective on the key questions that come up repeatedly in relation to improving all around excellence on continuous delivery and a constant focus on process improvement.

In brief, I have found that important and subjective parameters – those that cannot be defined with respect to “the process” – are frequently overlooked, and this is a big issue. Factors unique to every individual project implementation against a set of customer needs must be called out each time for their uniqueness. If not, the team is deluding itself that they are doing everything correctly by following broad principles and best practices that are useful, but not definitive or descriptive for enabling continuous improvement.

Maturity in software engineering is currently defined by guiding models such as CMMI-DEV, and ISO/IEC 15504, which accentuate the need to always establish, manage, measure and optimize “the process.”

CMMI-DEV is a framework for process improvement to guide improvements for a team, a group of teams, divisions or entire organizations. It helps set process improvement goals, monitor quality processes and track the essential elements to achieve effective processes.

ISO/IEC 15504 is a measurement framework for Process Capability and CMMI. It describes a clear mechanism for the translation of outputs from an assessment into standard processes.

Maturity within an Agile team is only achieved when continuous improvement takes place. To attain that, the team must define work processes, as well as normalise and quantitatively manage them. CMMI-DEV and ISO/IEC 15504 process models within Agile implementation “guarantee” that the process is implemented efficiently, as dynamic projects absorb change at small intervals by mapping that change within a systematic, disciplined approach to project delivery.

But, these frameworks overlook some critical human factors. For example, the teams that develop software using the above models are directed by well-defined and rigorous processes, but there is often conflict as Agile implementation encounters the operational friction of the growing size of the software development teams. Additionally, managing a process to achieve a high level of Agile maturity and effectiveness is always a challenge because there are real people involved; and this is true irrespective of team size.

A realistic, pragmatic focus on the people, rather than the defined process, is what really delivers success. This becomes apparent when relooking at the question of defining Agile maturity.

There are widely-held beliefs such as:

  1. Process maturity delivers increased product development efficiency
  2. Process maturity delivers increased product development effectiveness
  3. Process maturity delivers increased product development innovation
  4. Process agility delivers increased product development efficiency
  5. Process agility delivers increased product development effectiveness
  6. Process agility delivers increased product development innovation

Based on my experience and wider research, I realized that some measures of Agile maturity cannot be directly measured by either a process definition or as quantifiable project management competencies. Each team adopts working practices based on its circumstances and improves those practices based on the challenges it faces. Therefore, the nurturing of Agile maturity occurs mostly through idiosyncratic capabilities pertinent to the project, teams, and development of project work with respect to collaboration, communication, commitment, upkeep, distribution, acceptance of global togetherness of teams from various cultures, and the self-organization of teams. These are the human characteristics of what constitutes a strong team outside of the framework.

It’s also useful to think about the following: do you have a good leader, a clear mission statement, good opportunities for learning and self-improvement? Does the team complement and help each other? Is there an end goal for everyone to focus on? What happens to the team when that goal is achieved, and subsequent sprints are naturally less heroic and more prosaic?

The “Agile compass checklist” can help development teams identify which outcomes they have accomplished, so that a more flexible and “human” process to define future tasks is what the team uses to decide the metrics to be tracked.

These human factors should be considered and discussed by leaders, product owners, teams and managers every time – because the answer won’t be found within the CMMI-DEV, and ISO/IEC 15504.  It’s up to the team to drive continuous improvement.


Here are some of the papers I used as a reference, in addition to my 8 years of work experience in Agile project implementations:

  • Kohlegger, M., Maier, R., and Thalmann, S. (2009). Understanding maturity models results of a structured content analysis. In Proceedings of the I-KNOW 09 and ISEMANTICS 09. Available at
  • Fontana,R.M., Fontana,I.M., Garbuio, P.A.R., Reinehr,S., and Malucelli,A.(2014a). Processes versus people: How should Agile software development maturity be defined? The Journal of Systems and Software, 97:140–155.
  • CMMI Product Team (2010). CMMI for development, version1.3 (cmu/sei-2010-tr-033). Technical report, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.
  • Vidgen, R. and Wang, X. (2009). Coevolving systems and the organization of Agile software development. Information Systems Research, 20(3):355376.
  • Ozcan-Top, O. and Demir¨ors, O.(2013). Assessment of Agile maturity models: A multiple case study in Software Process Improvement and Capability Determination, 13th International Conference, SPICE2013, pages130–141.
  • Fontana, R. M., Reinehr, S., and Malucelli, A. (2015c). Agile compass: A tool for identifying maturity in Agile software-development teams. IEEE Software, 32(6):20–23.

Zveme vás na IDC Summit 2019

25. dubna proběhne v Praze IDC Summit, tradiční setkání vrcholových manažerů, technologických odborníků a předních analytiků, zaměřené na aktuální témata v oblasti digitální transformace.

Proč se zúčastnit

Exkluzivita, odborná úroveň, progresivita a interaktivita, na níž je summit postaven, nabízí bohatou inspiraci k odbornému i osobnímu růstu a k povýšení vedoucí manažerské funkce z podpůrné na inovátorskou.

O čem se bude mluvit

  • Priority řízení digitalizace
  • Podpora digitální podnikové kultury
  • Digitální transformace a organizační struktura
  • Integrované strategie a plány digitální transformace
  • Nezbytné předpoklady škálovatelnosti
  • Klíčové výkonnostní ukazatele v digitální oblasti
  • Revoluční inovace platforem
  • Život v digitální ekonomice

Jako strategický průvodce komplexní digitální transformací pro společnosti z různých oborů a odvětví jsme se v Ness rozhodli připojit se k výjimečné události, na které se setkají vrcholoví manažeři, CIO a CEO, technologičtí odborníci a přední analytici, aby debatovali o výzvách digitálního věku a definovali strategie, které ovlivní budoucí vývoj informačních technologií a tím i podobu podnikání.

Petr MýtinaManaging Director Ness Czech, v rámci konference představí, jak propojit inovace a nové technologie do digitálních agilních procesů a plně využít potenciál firem, a povede i navazující diskuzi u kulatého stolu.

Jak zvládnout digitální otřesy

O tom, jak úspěšně vést podnikání a zůstat konkurenceschopný v době digitální transformace. Jaké jsou výzvy spojené s digitálními disrupcemi a jak v Nessu pomáháme svým zákazníkům tato narušení zaběhlých postupů zvládnout?

› Co byste označil za největší výzvy, se kterými se potýkají zákazníci Nessu?

Více než osmdesát procent naší práce pomáhá zákazníkům s řízením tržeb, protože vytváříme platformy, které podporují prodej jejich produktů. Hlavní výzvou, se kterou se naši zákazníci potýkají, je tedy zajištění nárůstu tržeb. Chce to více diferenciace? Širší povědomí o značce a vyšší loajalitu zákazníků? Jak podpořit digitální podnikání a být konkurenceschopnější?

V Nessu se zaměřujeme na oblasti, kde vidíme určitá digitální narušení (disrupce) zaběhlých procesů. Tyto oblasti nazýváme domény. Patří k nim chytré obchodování (smart business), které se týká nových platebních metod, loajality zákazníků a schopnosti úspěšně prodávat v digitálním světě.

Bavte se se zákazníky

Ptáme se zákazníků, jak používáte obsah, videa nebo hudbu, abyste vytvořili nový datový produkt nebo službu pro své klienty? Jak je prodáváte, jak je distribuujete a jak usnadňujete jejich spotřebu? Některé z domén se prolínají vícero odvětvími. Například platby logicky spadají pod finanční služby, ale týkají se i maloobchodu, cestování, prodeje vstupenek a „spotřeby“ médií.

Další důležitou doménou jsou pro nás chytré stroje (smart machines). Spolupracujeme se zákazníky, od kterých získáváme obrovské množství informací pocházejících ze senzorů IoT (Internet of Things), následně zjišťujeme, jak mohou tyto údaje využít k tomu, aby dokázali stroje inteligentně řídit. Mnoho průmyslových odvětví a mnoho obchodních oblastí prožívá narušení obchodních modelů a my pomáháme zákazníkům tyto otřesy zaběhlých postupů zvládnout.

› Jaké pojítko vidíte mezi generálními řediteli a vedoucími pracovníky, kteří čelí digitálním změnám a transformaci?

Především bych chtěl říct, že digitální disrupce, ke kterým v současnosti dochází proto, že digitální technologie otřásají obchodními modely a nabídkou stávajících výrobků a služeb, jasně vidí a snaží se s nimi co nejrychleji vypořádat. Jedni mají tendenci tyto disrupce nějakým způsobem ovládnout, jiní na ně pouze reagují.

Vedoucí pracovníci vnímají, že moderní technologie jsou pro jejich úspěch klíčové, ale současné interní IT systémy společností nemusí být vždycky navrženy tak, aby byly dostatečně citlivé k neustále se měnícím potřebám trhu.

Podniková IT oddělení se historicky starala o zaměstnance svých firem, jenže ze softwaru se dávno už stal relevantní nástroj, který umožňuje konkurovat i obchodovat přímo s klienty. Úspěšní CIO, které potkávám, se posouvají spíše do rolí CTO (Chief Technology Officer) a pracují se svými týmy na inovacích, protože cítí nevyhnutelnost interních změn.

Nově vznikající technologie zajišťují diferenciaci na trhu a propojení těchto nových technologií s flexibilními, agilními obchodními metodami se stává klíčem k úspěchu. Přesně o těchto tématech a tomto přístupu se dozvídám, když hovořím s generálními řediteli společností z řad našich zákazníků.

› Jak vzděláváte sám sebe jako CEO?

Pro mě je důležité zůstat v kontaktu s tím, co se děje na trhu a co potřebují naši zákazníci. Velmi rád se se zákazníky potkávám osobně. Mluvím s nimi, slyším, co se snaží dělat, vím, co pro ně děláme my, a snažím se zjistit, co dalšího pro ně dělat můžeme. Stejně důležité je pro mě trávit čas se zaměstnanci v našich globálních vývojových centrech, ať už v Indii nebo v Evropě.

Často cestuji z pracovních důvodů. Beru to jako nejlepší způsob, jak zůstat v centru dění, daří se mi identifikovat nové příležitosti, zjišťuji, co můžeme dělat lépe a jak správně ladit směrování společnosti a investic, aby Ness zůstal na špici ve svém oboru.

› Jakou radu máte pro Vaše kolegy, generální ředitele?

Naslouchejte svým zákazníkům, naslouchejte svým zaměstnancům a buďte autentičtí. To jsou tři věci, které dělám já. A občas neškodí připomenout si, že jeden člověk nemůže vědět všechno.

Žijeme ve zlatém věku softwaru a technologií, chod světa, jak jej známe, se mění doslova každou minutou. Jen se podívejte na to, jak dnes platíme, cestujeme a “konzumujeme” média. Jsem přesvědčen, že příležitosti, které se díky tomu otevírají před naší společností a našimi zákazníky, jsou obrovské.


Macro and Micro Technology Trends for 2019

2018 has been a momentous one for technology, with progress (and setbacks) being made across many areas. The past year has set the stage for many technology trends that will dominate the headlines in 2019. Read about the macro and micro technology trends predicted for the year.

Moshe Kranc, Chief Technology Officer at Ness Digital Engineering, worked with his team to weigh in on next year’s technology predictions. In his new article entitled, “Macro and Micro Technology Trends for 2019,” Moshe discusses the future technology trends that could be game-changers in 2019. “There are so many areas to discuss — both from a macro trend and a technology trend perspective….,” states Moshe.

Read the article for insight on tech superpower nations, social networking, cyber security, IoT, and more.

Overcoming Barriers to Improve Operational Excellence- featuring Forrester Research

What are the common barriers to improving operational excellence? This Ness video featuring Amanda LeClair, Forrester Analyst at Forrester Research describes some of the common barriers that hinder achieving success.

In the digital era, there are challenges that have plagued organization for a long time, for example— legacy technology, working in silos, cultural change, security, compliance, etc. So how can you overcome these barriers? Some of the ways to conquer these challenges is by focusing on the operations that have the most impact and can potentially deliver the most value to their customers — and also involving operations-oriented roles on the innovation teams. “By making more investments on the operational piece and not just newer technologies…. you’re putting money back into what exists today so that you’re able to keep pace with what you’re doing at the forefront and that your backend systems are able to support the promises that you’ve been making on the experience front,” states Amanda.

Watch the video to learn about the common barriers that hinder achieving operational excellence and how to beat these challenges:

Ness Digital Engineering CEO On Navigating Digital Disruption

In an interview with Chief Executive, Paul Lombardo, CEO of Ness Digital Engineering talks about the big challenges in digital disruption and how he educates himself by traveling. He also shares his piece of advice for fellow CEOs as they navigate accelerating disruption and transformation.

Click to view full article:



Agile Coaching – Why You Need It

With the Digital Economy and newer technological trends such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) encircling us, organizations are looking to implement Agile methods to optimize the delivery processes and reduce costs. Having a seasoned Agile Coach can really make a difference in an organization’s Agile journey regardless of whether it has just embarked on the journey, is trying to scale at the enterprise level, or is targeting to take the implementation to newer heights.

Let us take a look at some of the facets of an Agile coach and how the coach can bring value to the organization:

Coach as a Leader – The role of an agile coach encompasses the complete lifecycle of Agile transformation with the coach focusing on the process, people and technology that can enable teams towards working cohesively and delivering better results. A coach will be able to look at the current situation of the organization and will be able to map the organizational target state with a pragmatic implementation plan. A coach will focus on the behavioral, managerial and engineering aspects of Solution delivery and will be able to suggest the appropriate solutions to the leadership for long-term results.

Coach as a Communicator – To encourage teams to adopt, scale-up, and thrive on Agile methods, communicating a vision on the need for Agile methodology is important. A coach crafts out a vision showcasing the merits of Agile, how it improves the process, and cements the engagement with customers. A coach will reinforce the need for communication as the basic foundation of Agile methodology.

Coach as a Collaborator – A coach brings cohesive methods, particularly with teams working across geographies and distinct cultures, and encourages a common Agile terminology to establish an effective communication channel throughout the company. Coaches are known for ensuring common understanding of Agile methods and flavors and eventually facilitate arriving at a suitable flavor that suits the team.

Coach as a Trainer – Every company requires rounds of rigorous training and hand-holding for teams that are transitioning to Agile. A coach designs and customizes training modules for talent deployed across organizational ranks. As opposed to short-term training programs, a coach provides consistent and continuous training that results in deeper understanding of the Agile practices at large.

Coach as a Mentor – A coach helps teams get to up to speed with Agile by deploying the right set of activities to accelerate adoption, identify and plug knowledge gaps. Companies need communities that provide a platform for Agile practitioners to innovate and build new ideas, air queries, and resolve issues collaboratively. Coaches nurture and develop such communities, a prerequisite in Agile cultures.

Coach for Continual Improvement – Equal in importance to Agile implementation is regular monitoring to gauge the organizational progress that Agile adoption is bringing about. A coach builds a set of metrics to evaluate the extent of Agile adoption and also continuously looks at improving the practices. That’s how teams can become high-performing Agile units.

A coach is a sound investment for companies in terms of time and money. Since Agile coaches bring tried and tested, as well as brand new practices and processes, there is significant value addition to the organizations. Benefits of coaching are experienced even by early Agile adopters. At times, enterprises aren’t able to fully exploit the value of Agile. A coach analyzes areas for improvisation and develops customized methodologies to address those areas.

Ness brings Adaptive Agile delivery thinking into everything we do and our clients value the speed of an iterative roadmap to get to viable products, using a rigorous methodology and constant feedback throughout the process. Ness works seamlessly with our customers as partners to help them co-innovate and deliver value to the market.

Turning the ‘Art of the Possible’ into Reality- featuring Forrester Research

How do you turn the term ‘Art of the Possible’ into a reality? This Ness video featuring Amanda LeClair, Forrester Analyst at Forrester Research discusses ways to turn the term ‘Art of the Possible’ into an actionable plan and also delineates the areas where it works well.

Generally, the term ‘Art of the Possible’ is an important concept as it involves getting key stakeholders outside of their day-to-day work into a new environment and enabling them to envision outside of the box to lead to new innovations. It is great for discovery and ideation, what is most important it can be used by organizations to get down a learning curve, move from ideation to production as quickly as possible, and identify real use cases and put them into production quickly. “So, where the ‘Art of the Possible’ really works well when it comes to emerging technologies and innovation is when it’s integrated with deeply defined and experimented with methodologies to go from that ideation into production,” states Amanda.