GrowingAgilePractices2004 Identifying Ways to Promote a more Agile Workplace.

Combined Topics: Bringing Agile to the Organization

Initiator: Chris Kelly, Wendy Ospina


Discussion Summary: Initial Question: What is Agile? Summary: Refer to hand out that outlines Agile Manifesto, etc.

Large production Software is often big and takes a long time to run tests on. This makes it tough to integrate continuously. It may take a long time to run the build and test cycle.

Generally, it seems like most Agile practices are in companies that are small. This would offer more of a "Flat" organizational structure that would make it easier to implement Agile practices. This is different from Hierarchical organizations. These organizations tend to have more politics, baggage, and would focus on individual (as opposed to group) accountability that are more about politics. These values differ from Agile values.

Thus, is Agile a cultural problem? How should Agile practice propagation be approached: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? Also, there are different areas of an organization such as requirements, development and testing. Which area should we start at? Does it matter?

Management at higher levels could be a problem. Management that is more "old school" in their thinking/methodologies will be a tough sell, if you can sell them at all. They tend to prefer the current way of doing things (the Path of Least Resistance.)

Management can be a victim of the process itself. The Waterfall model can set Managers/Teams? up for goals that can't possibly be achieved. Agile could be pitched as a way to beat the process.

When introducing Agile processes, they must begin at a lower level but not necessarily the lowest. It is possible that it could start at a high management level that notices the problem since they're likely to be more open to the solution.

Also, requirements are often a big problem. If requirements are bad, then it will be hard to break them down and do something meaningful with them. In essence, you're doomed.

Conclusions / Proposals / Actions:

Post-Meeting Discussion:

Suggestion: if you decide to take this discussion offline to a newsgroup, please indicate the location of the group here so others can join you.