Agile becomes Fragile without Enterprise Collaboration

The hype about XP, SCRUM and the rest of Agile s/w development practices (ok, methodologies) still fuels hundreds of conferences, webinars and seminars around the globe annually. Agile in its core is based on the iterative and incremental development paradigm (introduced in late 60s if not before!), in which requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams.

Borrowing some of the Agile style of thinking, to practice Agile is to promote adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, and encourage rapid and flexible response to change. Based on its birth certificate, (a.k.a: “the Manifesto” published in 2001), Agile now a teenager, is full of energy and provocative ideas promised to continue shaking the landscape of software engineering in the Cloud era.

The manifesto states:

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value:

  • Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools
  • Working software over Comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over  Following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more”

Highlighting “individuals and interactions”, “collaboration”, “documentation” and “responding to change” we can easily see why this manifesto is still up to date, after 15 years, and still captures the essence of modern s/w development. That is to develop software through true team collaboration while capturing and tracing the knowledge produced to leverage flexibility to market changes.   

The reality though in modern software development companies tells a different story. Software teams following Agile principles struggle to achieve its full potential mainly due to process and communication oriented challenges, established and deeply rooted at enterprise level. Furthermore, the teams are forced to deliver in working environments that are not tuned and organized to support Agile development release cycles. These obsolete and static environments cannot cope with the fast pace ordered by the Agile development processes of release cycles of maximum six weeks.

Fortunately, the solution to this problem lies within. Companies willing to reap the full benefits of the Agile paradigm should equip their teams with integrated, transparent, dynamic, and flexible collaborative environments, offering CRM project management, documentation, business intelligence, productivity and resource management on top of video/chat seamless communication and activity streaming gadgets. Only by integrating the new breed of cloud-based collaboration services teams are endowed with the right tools to:

“Uncover better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it, while valuing:

  • Individuals, interactions and tools over obsolete Processes
  • Working software and associated traceable knowledge over outdated documentation
  • Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation
  • Perfecting “the” plan over Following a plan

That is, they simply value the items on the left”

Last modified onThursday, 04 June 2015 09:03
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Androklis Mavridis is an expert in Project Management, Software Quality Assurance, Real Options and decision making in S/W investments

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