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Implementing Agile for the Most Gain

Since we only know as much as our experiences have taught us, I suppose it is not surprising that some people still shun agile: One bad experience can spoil everything. So it is important to introduce agile into the IT organization correctly the first time. In an article for ZDNet, Mark Samuels relates how Tarah Lourens, CTO of Wonga, has used agile to positive effect in her business. The example might help you with your agile implementation.

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Empowering teams to own products and release at a faster rate is critical in software now, and empowerment is precisely what agile provides. But beyond that, agility can also be exercised during product conception and exploration. Lourens explains how her business engages in executive group discussion and discovery workshops in order to determine which product/service ideas offer the most promise. Prioritization of new development stems naturally from these discussions and workshops. Likewise, Lourens regularly reports on metrics gathered. Some people even work together to produce an internal newsletter on progress and results, positive and negative.

Agile has spread to Wonga’s HR team, involving variations of daily standups and scrum cards. IT is also helping marketing to grasp agile. In all cases, the increased levels of communication inside of departments are reducing rework. Samuels continues to say this:

[Lourens] advises her c-suite peers to be clear on accountability. While Agile needs workers to feel empowered, they also require clear goals and boundaries. “Empowerment comes with responsibility and this needs to be made clear,” says Lourens. “The boundaries need to be well-defined so everyone understands when they can make a call and when they need to involve others.”

As Agile projects develop, CIOs and their c-suite peers should focus on support issues. Lourens refers to the importance of providing psychological security. Senior executives must allow people to feel that it is OK to make mistakes so that they can learn and improve.

For some more details, you can view the original article here: http://www.zdnet.com/article/agile-development-how-to-make-it-work-for-you/

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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