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Faster, sooner, better: What's changing in agile development?

Let's make Agile work before embarking on Agile 2.0

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I hear people talking about Agile 2.0 a lot. But when I look at what’s happening in the application development and delivery space, I see that many organizations are just now starting to experience Agile’s true benefits, and they’re not yet leveraging those benefits completely or consistently.

So let’s stop talking about Agile 2.0 for a moment and instead digest and operationalize what’ve learned so far. There’s plenty to improve upon without getting into inventing new practices and acronyms to add to the Agile transformation backlog!

What I see is that app-dev leaders want to understand how they can optimize existing use of AD&D Agile practices like Scrum, XP, Kanban, improve the practices around the more advanced ones like TDD, continuous testing, CI and CD and leverage all with what they’ve learned over the years (including waterfall). Scaling the whole thing up in their organization in order to have a bigger and more consistent impact on the business is what their next key goal is. We fielded the 2013 version of our Global Agile Software Application Development Online Survey to find out how. I present and analyze this data in my latest report. The survey addressed common questions that clients ask me frequently get in inquiries and advisory, such as:

  1. How can we test in a fast-paced environment while maintaining or improving quality?
  2. How can we improve our Agile sourcing patterns to work effectively with partners?
  3. Enough about Agile project management — what about engineering practices? As we improve project management practices and our relationship with the business to deliver faster, how do we guarantee that we can actually deliver faster in production? (i.e., have you heard of DevOps?).
  4. What are the valid metrics in this new context?
  5. What are companies doing to scale Agile development?

Forrester Scrum image.gifIf you download the report, you’ll notice that, more and more, Scrum is the de facto standard with 90% of the participants using it! But Lean and Kanban is gaining traction too.

I don’t think the market needs an Agile 2.0 — yet, anyway. First let’s use what we already have and make it work better. We don’t need a new definition of Agile to fuel momentum (sorry, what lack of momentum?!?). The Agile path is clearly set for the industry as a whole; it’s taken 10 years to get Agile to penetrate the market and improve the upstream part of the application development life cycle, but it’s not going to take that long to get Agile to improve and automate the downstream part of ALM (read: DevOps).

Faster, better apps will become a reality once we’ve made the entire software supply chain — both upstream and downstream — more Agile. That’s where Agile is going.

Your comments on the survey data are welcome! And may I ask: What are you doing to scale Agile? Contact me if you were not able to join the survey this year but would like to do so next year.

Posted by Diego Lo Giudice

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