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Agile not just a development approach, emergn CEO says

“For me, agile goes far beyond being a software development methodology. I view it as a culture and a transformation program,” Alex Adamopoulos founder and CEO of emergn, told me recently. This point of view led to emergn’s creation of AgilePMO, a unified sourcing framework for companies using agile principles. AgilePMO was released last week and emergn expects long-lasting industry results to follow. AgilePMO’s focus is on organizational issues as well as integration and implementation. It differs from traditional templates and kick the box contracts, said Adamopoulos, in that the established relationship is continuous. This is not a one-time fix all.

Launched early this year, emergn is a sourcing strategy and agile enablement consultancy firm located in New York City. The company’s focus was born out of Adamopoulos’ 20 years in IT services, where he continuously saw companies executing an ad hoc, mishmash of business management strategies. He saw in Agile not only a development methodology but a template for bringing more adaptability into business processes.

“We are not strictly using agile guidelines just for software development. We have also focused our impact on organizations that have struggling IT portfolio management,” Adamopoulos said. “The whole idea in introducing agilePMO is to introduce an accelerated, more efficient and measurable way to run sourcing.”

AgilePMO is designed for a short implementation timeline. Adamopoulos stressed that the framework is set up to run after implementation, rather than requiring years of consultancy contracts. The goal of Agile and emergn, he said, is to get development and business processes moving along quickly and well, without taking too much precious company time and revenue.

AgilePMO can be used by a broad array of development organizations, Adamopoulos said, but early adopters have been large enterprises. Moving to agile reshapes a company’s sourcing and other strategies, and “those are pretty important programs and ones that aren’t taken lightly,” he said. At this point, “we’ve found that the larger companies are more ready to do those than the smaller players.”

Watch this blog for more highlights from my interview with Adamopoulos.

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Just to add a little more to what Dan described, Agile in the enterprise has taken shape in driving behavior at the business layer specifically since the approach, by definition, involves a higher level of interaction and communication between IT and Line of Business owners and teams. This impact in turn is where the real changes are taking place in PMO and Sourcing Offices since the measures and processes that traditionally supported how projects were sourced are now under scrutiny to ensure that the economies of scale make sense. PMO is sometimes viewed as a policing function but as it applies to the overall Sourcing methodology that a company has it becomes a change agent that can serve as a reliable and sound foundation to introduce, deploy and manage the complex world of vendor management and sourcing