Sooner Safer Happier: Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility

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Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals patterns and antipatterns to show how business leaders from every industry can help their organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment.

“It is a real pleasure to read a book that doesn’t assume ‘Agile is the solution, now what is your problem?’ This is a realistic approach to adopting (or not adopting) agile in your organization. The theory is sound; the practice is extensive. I strongly recommend this book.”

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It’s no secret that we are living in the Digital Age. Technology companies make up seven of the world’s ten largest firms by market capitalization. And the key to their success is the key to all modern organizations.

Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals patterns and antipatterns to show how business leaders from every industry can help their organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment. Through his decades of experience in the technology world, Smart provides business leaders with a blueprint for creating a world-class organization of the future.

Through Agile and Lean ways of working, business leaders can empower teams to improve production, grow together, and create better services for their customers. These better ways of working have overflowed from the IT department to every corner of successful organizations, taking root in every industry from aerospace to accounting, insurance to shipping.

This book is not about software development. It is not a book about the computer industry.

This book is about applying agility across the entire organization. It’s a book that will put you at the front of change and ahead of the competition.

In addition to engaged colleagues and delighted customers, Happier includes social and climatic outcomes. Purchases of this book will result in the planting of trees and empowerment of women, in countries with the lowest scores on the IUCN’s gender and environment index via our charity partner treesisters. Its not just carbon neutral, purchases in any format will result in on average x10 greater carbon offset.

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“Most organizations would say they have a solid strategy, and some are pursuing new ways of working to achieve that strategy; however, often not in an optimal way. BVSSH is the unlock for organizations, and this book gives the practical guidance to WIN.”

JONATHAN SMART is a business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach. Smart leads Deloitte’s Business Agility practice, helping organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through the application of agile, lean, and DevOps principles and practices organization wide. Previously Smart lead Ways of Working globally for Barclays Bank, helping to triple productivity, where he and his team won the Best Internal Agile Team at the Agile Awards in 2016.

Smart is also the founder of the Enterprise Agility Leaders Network, a member of the Programming Committee for the DevOps Enterprise Summit, a member of the Business Agility Institute Advisory Council, a guest speaker at London Business School, and speaks at numerous conferences a year.

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ZSOLT BEREND is a business agility practitioner, coach, and trainer. He helps global organizations on their journey to achieving Better Value Sooner Safer Happier. He began his early career as a research fellow in astronomy, and then spent twenty years across industry sectors in various roles applying agile and lean practices, mainly in telecom, healthcare, financial services, and consulting. He was the global chair of the Agile Community of Practice at Barclays with more than 2,500 members, and with the Ways of Working Center of Enablement team, won “Best Internal Agile Team” at the Agile Awards 2016. He writes on Medium and is a speaker at conferences and meetups. His passion is data, measurements, insights, and the creation of learning organizations.

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MYLES OGILVIE has led, supported, and coached change initiatives within large and small enterprises for over twenty-five years. An advocate of no-nonsense problem-solving, he seeks to build transparency, improve collaboration, and enable outcomes that produce Better Value Sooner Safer Happier During 2016, when leading ways of working for a major UK investment bank during a period of intense regulatory and controls scrutiny, Myles applied lean and agile principles to risk management in the product development process. He is now a passionate advocate of patterns that can help foster a safer, leaner, and more innovative controls culture.

SIMON ROHRER has been a hands on practitioner across both software engineering and enterprise architecture for over twenty-six years, and has had a passion for agile software development since picking up the eXtreme Programming white book in 1999. He’s passionate about an eclectic and pragmatic approach to modern ways of working, incorporating lean, agile, systems thinking, DevOps and other principles and practices at the right pace and in a human context in enterprises, typically with a legacy of existing technology and a drive to do things better.

“Most organizations would say they have a solid strategy, and some are pur- suing new ways of working to achieve that strategy; however, often not in an optimal way. BVSSH is the unlock for organizations, and this book gives the practical guidance to WIN.”

“It’s difficult to overstate Jon Smart’s impact on business and technology leadership. His philosophy of BVSSH has rapidly been adopted by so many organizations, showing how effective, persuasive, and logical his arguments are. I think this book will be viewed as an important contribution to the organizational learning literature. His and his co-authors’ observations and lessons succinctly summarize and teach what decades of books have failed to do.”

“What [Jon] has achieved and created to help others succeed is nothing short of exceptional . . .These stories are hard won, practical, and real. You’ll read this book and leave with actionable ideas and a fresh perspective to find your own path of change for your organization and yourself, delivering better value sooner, safer, and happier.”

“How I wish I had been lucky enough to have read this book a few years ago when embarking on my own attempt to deliver Value Sooner Safer Happier in the internal audit function at Barclays. . . .This book is not just a great hand- book to draw from to assist you on your journey, it is also a great read!“

“There are many books on WHAT was done and WHAT excellent firms do in their quest for success. They often tell you WHAT you should do. This gem of guidance is destined to become the manual on HOW to deliver better value, sooner, safer, and happier through engaging customers, colleagues, leaders, and importantly boards!”

“How many times do we hear the word Agile being misused in today’s corporate world? Jonathan’s excellent book provides us all with a very practical guide on how to embrace agility in an ever increasingly digital, chaotic, and challenging world where the path to delivering outcomes is uncertain.”

“There are lots of books on organizational agility. But few are as comprehensive or thought-provoking as Jon Smart’s tour de force, Soon Safer Happier. Jon has worked on the frontlines of the agile movement for almost thirty years, and he does a superb job of integrating his direct experience with the theories of organizational change. If you want to improve how your organization works, read this book!”

“Sooner Safer Happier nails the point that many leaders miss—transformation in itself is not a worthy goal, it is a vehicle for optimizing business outcomes. This book provides an indispensable guide for leaders who wish to run truly agile organizations. It leaves no stone left unturned. Smart, Berend, Ogilvie, and Rohrer address the leadership challenges, cultural barriers, and antipatterns that prevent too many organizations from realizing their potential in today’s complex environment. They offer specific and immediately useful techniques for driving business results and a culture that reinforces continuous improve- ment long-term. Sooner Safer Happier is a must-read for any business leader looking to succeed in the digital age.”

“Sooner Safer Happier is a must-read for leaders who have recognized the need to connect the cultural and the technological aspects of digital transformation. Jon Smart has established a critical set of patterns and antipatterns that are indispensable for an outcome-based shift from projects and waterfalls to prod- ucts and innovation.”

“If you are involved in the journey toward a safer, faster, happier organization that produces value at every step, this should be required reading. The ‘patterns and antipatterns’ approach means that you can easily spot where things may go wrong, and will have at hand some proven patterns to fix it. This is as close to a field guide as I have seen, and speaks of real and practical experience.”

“This book is a treasure trove for anyone involved or interested in the theory and practice of business agility. Jon Smart and co-authors give a compelling ‘Why?’ for the need to change and clear, practical antipatterns and corresponding patterns of success. A game-changer for our organization and I’m confident for others’ too.”

"This book is an absolute must-read for business leaders responsible for leading transformational change. Having seen Jon, Zsolt, Myles, and Simon in action, I find an amazing amount of valuable experience—not just information—is packed into this single resource. This book will be especially valuable for soft-ware leaders who want to make their delivery process more effective.”

“Talking to Jon and his team has disrupted our thinking on business agility. We've changed from a traditional organization which IT is seen as a cost-cen- ter, to IT being a driving force, enabling true enterprise-wide cooperation. The concept of delivering Better Value Sooner Safer Happier has been the basis for our journey, which, among many things, puts the focus on leader- ship, and that really resonated with my personal experience. It’s a must-read book if you want to stay relevant in your market and run a forward-thinking organization.”

“It’s difficult to overstate Jon Smart’s impact on business and technology leadership. His philosophy of BVSSH has rapidly been adopted by so many organizations, showing how effective, persuasive, and logical his arguments are. I think this book will be viewed as an important contribution to the organizational learning literature. His and his co-authors’ observations and lessons succinctly summarize and teach what decades of books have failed to do.”