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Bimodal IT as a solution for Shadow IT? Nope!

NOTE: Sorry for the lack of writing last week. My Service Provider caused my domain to not function properly (ghost domains interfering) and I ended up changing Service Providers.

On Friday, I received a message from Sanjay asking me to talk about Mode 2 IT Initiatives and how Architecture can support them. To tell you the truth, this was the first time I'd heard of Mode 2 IT initiatives. So I spent the weekend trying to understand what exactly Mode 2 IT initiatives are. And I again marvelled at how IT can come up with new names for old concepts.

Now, before I write about what I've learned, I want to point you to a website that is offering a copy of the Gartner report titled "Kick-Start Bimodal IT by Launching Mode 2". This is one of the ways I find Gartner reports without having to have a licence with Gartner (which is really expensive). Click on the link, enter your information, and you'll get a copy. Just beware that you may get Sales people calling you.

Let's start by understanding what Mode 2 and Bimodal is. Without understanding them, you can't talk about Architecture support.

From what I can tell, Mode 2 is a term that has been created by Gartner as a subtype of something called Bimodal IT, a new buzzword that Gartner has created. They are using the term Bimodal as a way of describe the methods of delivering IT projects.

Bimodal IT is the practice of managing two separate, coherent modes of IT delivery, one focused on stability and the other on agility. Mode 1 is traditional and sequential, emphasizing safety and accuracy. Mode 2 is exploratory and nonlinear, emphasizing agility and speed. - Gartner
Bimodal IT is the method of managing two separate types of project delivery within the same organization. The first is termed as Mode 1, the traditional "waterfall" situation where an organization delivers a project in a very stable, consistent basis. There are gate reviews for the projects and projects are delivered using plans and governance approvals.

The second method is termed as Mode 2 and is the "Agile" method of delivering projects. Rather than having the "Big Bang" approach to delivering projects where you assign a budget to specific projects, Mode 2 talks about continuous delivery of small, incremental improvements. These types of activities aren't really project based but, rather, take asks from the business and deliver incremental improvements.

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