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Analytics by Phil Simon

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CHAPTER 6A Framework for Agile AnalyticsA Simple Model for Gathering Insights

If I can’t picture it, I can’t understand it.

—Albert Einstein

At least in the software-development world, Agile methods are old hat today. Companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple, Twitter, Microsoft, and countless others in the technology sector have long recognized the superiority of Scrum compared to the Waterfall method. Based on the success of these companies and the need to adapt quickly to a remarkably dynamic business environment, Agile methods have penetrated other industries.

Founded in 1892 in Schenectady, New York, General Electric (GE) is one of the oldest and most storied enterprises in the world. In a way, though, that doesn’t matter. As former executives at BlackBerry, Kodak, and Blockbuster can attest, previous success does not guarantee future success. To adapt to the realities of the twenty-first century, GE’s management recognized the need to get with the times—and, increasingly, this means adopting Agile practices, such as Scrum.

Consider Brad Surak, now GE Digital’s Chief Operating Officer (COO). Surak began his career as a software engineer. As such, he

was intimately familiar with Agile. He piloted Scrum with the leadership team responsible for developing industrial Internet applications and then, more recently, began applying it to the new unit’s management processes, such as operating reviews.1

Although the notion of Agile analytics is relatively new, it is ...

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