Why Digital good practices and ‘Digital maturity’ are different than the IT good practices and maturity pursuits of the past
- Posted by James Doss
- On 15th September 2019
- 1 Comments
- agile, Devops, Digital, DPBoK, governance, lean, management, product management
First, for context, let me start off by introducing the Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge (aka DPBOK), and then below this, I’ll explain why Digital good practices and “Digital Maturity” are different than the IT good practices of the past.
This past July, The Open Group published the Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge™ Standard.
This document is intended to assist individuals and organizations who wish to better create and manage product offerings with an increasing digital component, or lead their organization through Digital Transformation.
It also “provides guidance for the Digital Practitioner, whether based in a traditional “IT” organization, manufacturing unit, sales, customer support, or embedded in a cutting-edge integrated product team.”
The high-level structure of the Body of Knowledge is based on the Emergence Model, which divides the Body of Knowledge into four stages, called Contexts, which correspond to the stages of evolution of a Digital organization, and are summarized as follows:
- Context I: Individual / Founder
Foundational drivers of, and technical capabilities for, delivering digital value
- Context II: Team
The critical product management, collaboration, and operational skills necessary for producing digital value
- Context III: Team of Teams
Key capabilities for partitioning investments and ensuring coherence, alignment, and joint execution across multiple teams
- Context IV: Enduring Enterprise
Steering, managing risk, and assuring performance at scale and over increasing time horizons and increasingly complex ecosystems
I see this Emergence Model as the DPBOK’s key differentiator. The Emergence Model aims to address many needs at once, and the first is that it provides organization size-specific lean, full lifecycle digital product management guidance.
This means that organizations of any size can mature their digital practices without having to try to abstract practices from competing (mostly lifecycle-based) BOKs which, due to their organizing principle, do not generally provide such scale-specific guidance for all practices.
This also greatly simplifies approaches to Digital maturity for organizations for all sizes, keeping in mind that the pursuit of Digital maturity does lead to the very un-lean ‘pursuing a framework for a framework’s sake’ as previous generation maturity pursuits did when based on the big IT BOKs of the past.
This is because, statistically speaking, Digital practices are so overwhelmingly tied to success, due to Digital Product Management’s extraordinary focus on desired customer and user outcomes. (see the “2019 Accelerate State of DevOps Report“).
In addition to this ease at which any organization can “find itself” in the DPBOK, so too can any Digital Practitioner–from the would-be practitioner, a student, to the seasoned expert–since all DPBOK topics start with introducing the basic concepts before moving on to elaborate on their more advanced themes.
The start-up-centric Founder/Individual Emergence Model context–the first and introductory context of the Emergence Model–is something I think will resonate well with younger generations.