Today's Agile is not "agile" enough.
As I observe trends in our industry as well as the tech sector as a whole, it becomes more clear all the time that even established businesses now operate in an environment of extreme uncertainty. Prescriptive methodologies that drive long cycle times simply cannot keep up with the pace of change in an increasingly services oriented world.
Continuous Delivery provides the technical foundation for a software development lifecycle that can respond to this pace of change. I remember a few years ago when Workfront first adopted Scrum, and started shipping code every month. We thought it remarkable that we could deliver working software at such a rapid pace! How quickly things change--it's not uncommon for development to ship code into production several times a day! Examples include IMVU, Etsy, and Flickr and many others. Even in large scale organizations like Facebook, a daily deployment is now possible through robust automated testing and clever use of virtualized infrastructure. As I've described in other posts, Workfront has adopted a rich CI pipeline, which includes many of these features and now facilitates daily deployments. We have the technology to react to change at the pace the market demands… but do we have have the professional will?
An "Agile Mindset" can be demonstrated by adoption of the agile values in the decision making process of an organization. Agile teaches us to focus on delivering value over adherence to a plan, and to focus on results over process. Ironically, Scrum as it's most commonly practiced can be a heavy weight process in itself, and while it can help enforce agile principles, there are many examples of companies who keep to the pomp and ceremony of Scrum, but gain little value from the flexibility it affords to the product development process.
Converging market trends require a re-assessment of the Agile practices we have followed over the past 10 years… that in some ways the Agile of last decade is just not "agile enough" for the years ahead. These trends include:
In response, we must tailor the processes which facilitate value delivery to match the speed and uncertainty of the market we operate within. Here are a few examples:
Some of these are radical changes for an organization built around the heart-beat of sprints… In the past, the business itself has been subject to the rhythm of development. In Agile 2.0, we jettison many of these processes which have been rendered technologically obsolete, and free ourselves to focus on moving past value creation to value realization. We decouple the mechanisms of software creation from the requirements of the business to position and sell. It requires the bravery to recognize that the market is intrinsically uncertain, and to venture there.
For more information about the features in Workfront that can help you go beyond traditional Agile and project management tools, visit us here.