There has been a LOT about bimodal IT being written and everyone is chiming in on how to manage bimodal teams. Bimodal IT is something Gartner keeps pushing, claiming 75% of IT departments will be operating bimodally in 2017 (pdf). They also claim that half of them will make a mess of it.
Why is that? It’s simple really.
Going bimodal is an unnatural way to run a team, group, or product.
If I’m an aging business in danger of being disrupted then sure, I’ll spin off a newer, more agile team to try and disrupt myself. Better to disrupt myself than to let it happen to me. Let the new team innovate and create new things while I try and get as much revenue as I can from the pre-disruption market.
Running a more rapid, innovative set of teams alongside separate teams that are essentially keeping the lights just doesn’t work long term in a healthy organization.