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Agile, lean and the art of business–IT integration

March 2014

How the application of agile processes at Philips has made IT more responsive and business–aligned.

For a video with English subtitles, please click on CC above or the appropriate subtitle icon during play.

At many organizations, the adoption of an Agile approach to IT has proved a highly effective way of ensuring the technology function consistently delivers value to the business. But for Jeroen Tas, who as Philips’ CIO has championed the use of Agile at consumer electronics and healthcare equipment company in recent years, the whole Agile agenda has to be aligned closely with the strategic direction of the business.

“We made a choice to go Agile and to really lean out our processes because we believe that you’ve got to be very close to the business and you’ve got to evolve,” he highlights in our exclusive video. “But we believe in [applying those] principles in the context of a vision of where you’re taking the company, what your processes will look like in your new world, what your business models will look like, what your architecture is going to look like.”

Within that framework, the IT organization has to develop solutions both rapidly and iteratively: “The world around you is changing and you have to continuously improve, so you’ve got to move fast, you’ve got to take out all the lengthy bureaucracy that’s typically surrounding IT and you've got to be very close to the business.”
Collaborative approach

Such business-IT integration has to be genuine, with project responsibilities underpinned by a blend of the IT and business teams. “We insist that business people are part of the teams that design and deliver IT solutions. They have to be part of the team because they have to have common goals,” says Tas, who since January has taken on a fresh challenge leading a new digital division of Philips Healthcare that is focused on Informatics Solutions and Services.

First published
March 2014
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About: Jeroen Tas
Group CIO at Philips for the past three years, Jeroen Tas took on a new challenge in January as CEO of company’s new Healthcare Informatics business — fulfilling a belief that CIOs are well-suited for wider business roles.

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