Agile … still fragile

Deep penetration into IT but still a long way to go

In some form or other Agile Development has been going on since the 1970’s. However, what we think of as “Agile” really dates back to 2001 and the publishing of the Agile Manifesto. Since then a steady rise in adoption of Agile has resulted in the most staid, risk averse and late adopter communities embracing it and thriving on its usage.

Still there remain difficulties as highlighted in the Serena survey of Agilistas at the Agile 2012 conference in Dallas.

It seems that the respondents have seen rapid adoption of Agile best practices in the development community but it stops there.

There are accommodations being made by the rest of the organization from requirements to release but there are huge hurdles to overcome for most organizations to fully integrate Agile development into the corporate Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC).

Perhaps the most unexpected but really predictable result is that communication between and amongst Agile teams and and their non-Agile counterparts is causing a number of issues. Releasing changes with the same cadence that the development teams are creating them seems to be a significant issue. Just 40% of the release managers have visibility into Agile release scheduling and less than half of that are involved in the Standup process.

Another key point the survey uncovered is that there are some striking differences between management’s view and the development team’s view of what is working and what isn’t. Managers are happier with the Agile team’s ability to integrate their code with other team’s code. But are much less happy than the development team when it comes to testing the Agile developed code.

Clearly this is an important signpost to what is really going on in our development community. As much as the Agile Manifesto eschews processes and tools it seems that organizations are looking to measure, track and report on the effectiveness of their Agile teams. Perhaps it is time to fine a way to facilitate the Agile team’s ability to self-organize by providing them with Agile tools designed to enhance their interactions, customer collaboration and ability to respond to change.

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