Three value-inhibiting dysfunctions of enterprise software development

Have you ever been part of a corporate software undertaking that, on paper, ticked all the right boxes, but somehow never was able to make a dent in the world?

Agile, Lean, and DevOps are hardly controversial anymore in today’s enterprise setting. Almost every self-respecting larger-scale business organisation by now considers itself—at least partly—a software company and has embraced modern ways of developing, delivering, and running software. Digital transformations have happened or are well underway.

And so now seems to be a good moment to pause for a while, to take a deep breathe, to have a good look around, and to marvel at all the value all of this has brought. Wait—what do you mean with that, value? Yes, value. Because, wasn’t that the promise? By becoming software companies and by adopting novel but proven ways of “doing” software, enterprises would thrive: they would delight their customers, become more competitive, and be less vulnerable to disruption.

Reality is different, though. A closer look at what’s going on in these brand new enterprise-embedded software companies reveals that they are hardly delivering on the promise and that creating value is often far from top of mind. In this talk, I will zero in on three organisational dysfunctions that stand in the way of enterprises being successful with software: Struggling with Staffing, Abdication of Accountability, and Deceleration by Drag.

Having been made aware of these roadblocks, practioners will see them everywhere in corporate digitalisation programmes and will be better equipped to fight them.



Stefan Holdermans

A Customer Director at Schuberg Philis, Stefan Holdermans has over two decades of experience of developing, delivering, and running custom software solutions. He considers himself a pragmatic Agilist, ...