Getting Ready for Agile 2011

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In her recent post Getting Ready for Agile 2011, Anne Mullaney gave an outline of my forthcoming sessions at the conference. Specifically, she highlighted the emergence of new forms of Agility:

"Super-Fresh Code" is a term Israel coined (an extension of the "Super-Fresh Web" concept) to describe code that results from seizing upon the opportunities opened by combining recent advances in Agile software methods, cloud computing, mobile applications, and social networking. With the right mix, a company can outgun, outclass and outmaneuver its competition through real-time requirements management and superior business designs. Essentially, super-fresh code becomes the source of competitive advantage. This is a workshop that will make you think about Agile in ways you never have before.

Viewed from this perspective, devops becomes an integral part of Agile methods. One starts an enterprise level Agile roll-out in order to, well, gain Agility. The metaphorical wall between dev and IT ops puts a damper on end-to-end agility. Hence, applying Agile principles to the cusp between dev and ops becomes an essential part of the Agile initiative. In fact, Cutter recommends to its clients to integrate the two all the way down to the backlog stories.

Appropriately enough for the anniversary year of the Agile Manifesto, my strong conviction indeed is that we are just about witnessing Agile going beyond being "just" a software method. Markets are becoming hyper-segmented. There is no way to reach tiny, granular market segments economically without sophisticated software. Moreover, markets are becoming ultra-fluid. It takes a high degree of software-based business agility to penetrate market segments that form and collapse at the speed with which social networking groups emerge (and disappear). Hence, software is becoming a bigger and bigger part of just about any business -- avionics, financial services, healthcare, retail, transportation, telco, and so on. In fact, in many engagements Cutter consultants carry out, the software is the company. Unless Agile methods are used strategically, the ability of a company to generate value for its customers and capture profit for itself might be in jeopardy: the company simply cannot adapt fast enough when dev and IT ops operate as two silos.

I can't wait to discuss these topics with you and other Agile 2011 participants in just about two weeks!

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Israel, I agree that the implications of greater agility (...or lack thereof) between IT Ops and Development are enormous ...particularly as they impact the alignment between IT and the business community. It's amazing how long we have continued within IT to have distinct separations (…metaphorical wall you mentioned) between two groups (…devops) that should be working as one to deliver increased agility to those groups that have direct interface with the end customer.

The industry has spent much time talking, writing, discussing Agile in the development perspective …where is the discussion about how to become more Agile in the operations perspective so dev and ops are moving in a similar “agile” direction?

There have been discussions of IT Ops becoming more proficient in managing/tracking changes, responding faster to incidents, increasing resolution speed of problems/issues, capturing dynamic benefits of faster response to customers within SLAs …but where is the connection of dev within that discussion?

It’s great to have the development of new code becoming more responsive to the needs of the changing business …but where is the maintenance of existing code discussed within Agile that bridges the pressures IT Ops faces from managing the applications and infrastructure required by their existing business processes? I’m not saying it is not done …I am saying I don’t see IT Ops involved as necessary to move Agile to the “business perspective.” My 2 cents.

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This page contains a single entry by Israel Gat published on July 28, 2011 5:59 PM.

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