Organizations need to be in an agile mode of delivery for their clients. Competition is getting more fierce, as they are going in the same direction to build products. The path that is travelled to get there is not an easy one. It requires discipline and a new mindset of the entire set up of an organization.
The old top-down pyramid and the newer matrix models struggle to see the value agile delivery can provide. Some roles clash in job duties and responsibilities. The feeling of losing control of power causes added stress and potentially creates an environment that could become toxic.
Author: By Aaron De Smet, Sarah Kleinman, and Kirsten Weerda
The Helix Organization
The “helix,” as we’ve dubbed it, is not a new idea. It has been around for decades in professional-service firms and in parts of some large global companies, and more recently in many agile enterprises. But until now, it has lacked a name and clear definition, and its power to unlock organizational bottlenecks and to strike a better balance between centralization and decentralization has never been properly articulated. It is seldom implemented at significant scale, and many organizations that initially embrace it slide back to more traditional (and often less effective) structures. That’s no coincidence. For reasons we will discuss, successfully adopting the helix requires management mind-sets and a talent infrastructure that many businesses do not currently possess.
In a nutshell, the secret of the helix lies in disaggregating the traditional management hierarchy into two separate, parallel lines of accountability—roughly equal in power and authority, but fundamentally different.
One of the two lines helps develop people and capabilities, sets standards for how work is done, and drives functional excellence; the other focuses those people and capabilities on the priorities for the business (including overseeing their day-to-day work), creates value, and helps deliver a full and satisfying customer experience.
A Helix environment is a perfect structure for an organization to be a fully agile organization. It removes unwanted red tape and power struggles that could occur in more traditional forms of organization structures.