Proposal: Agility in Six Months
Organizations adopt Agile development practices for many reasons. Some of the common reasons are
- To increase the focus on meeting customer (internal or external) needs, or on furthering business goals
- To increase the quality of systems that are developed
- To reduce risk, validating decisions and testing the need for mitigation earlier
- To increase awareness of progress and avoid big surprises at the eleventh hour
- To smooth the path from an idea being approved as worthy of funding to deploying the implementation of that idea in production
- To make business success an enjoyable goal for everyone, aligning interests to the organization's benefit.
These are all worthy goals that lead to positive effects on the bottom line and better positioning for the future. The problem lies in adopting these practices successfully, such that the sought-for goals are reached—and not losing other valued things in the process. This document speaks to the value equation, benefits and costs, as well as adoption risk management, in general terms. I would be happy to discuss the specifics tailored to your particular situation.
Whatever the goals, something has lead you to believe that you'd like for your software development team to adopt Agile practices. Once you've decided that, you probably want them to do so in a reasonable time frame and for a reasonable cost. The good news is that with reasonable interest in doing so and good coaching, they can achieve that.
What's a reasonable time frame? I think a team can turn the corner to Agility in 6 months. I've seen them do so in less time. If your team has already made progress toward, or even studied, Agile adoption, then it's possible that they can breeze through some phases. I've also seen situations that took a lot longer, and some that will probably never make it. To make the transition to Agile in a short time, we need to start with a good beginning, have a reasonable plan for introducing new concepts, practice diligently, and frequently reassess our progress and our plan to adjust to the reality we find.
Therefore, I've developed a framework for Agile adoption by a team to outline the approach and to be about to reasonably estimate the costs. Contact me to learn more about this framework and how it applies to your situation.