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Whole Agile


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Choosing a methodology or a set of software development practices is just the beginning. In order to truly find success using agile methods you need to embrace Whole Agile.

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Whole Agile

  1. 1. Whole AgileCopyright © 2012 Peter Scheyen Version 1.0
  2. 2. PERSONAL BACKGROUND Peter Scheyen (, @pscheyen) CTO, Richard Ivey School of Business Formerly with Comcast, TVWorks, Liberate, Cableshare Experience includes Software Developer, Management, VP Eng Traditional software development methodologies Introduced Agile methods in different contexts Small team of 10 members Large organization of 10 teams of 5-10 members each
  3. 3. Whole Agile Version 1.0
  5. 5. Quick FixQuick Fix?
  6. 6. Repackaged WaterfallRepackaged Method X?
  7. 7. No More Project ManagersNo PMs? No QA?
  8. 8. Change Orders for FreeFree Changes?
  9. 9. Cowboy Coding? Cowboy Coding
  10. 10. For Elite Programmers Only Requires Elite Programmers?
  11. 11. For Web Development Only Web Programming Only?
  12. 12. For Small Teams OnlySmall Teams Only?
  13. 13. It’s Hard!It’s Hard
  14. 14. WHY BOTHER?
  15. 15. Deliver working software faster and more frequently
  16. 16. Fewer quality issues
  17. 17. Self-managing, adaptive, learning teams
  18. 18. Less reliance on individual heroesGreater reliance on high performing teams
  19. 19. More effective use of resources
  20. 20. Can create space for organic innovation
  21. 21. Higher visibility into the true state of projects
  22. 22. No place to hide
  24. 24. A BRIEF HISTORY Iterative methods date back to the 1950s Object oriented programming from the 1960s Adaptive methodologies from the early 1970s Lightweight methods developed in the 1990s Agile Manifesto signed in early 2001 Scrum, XP, Crystal, Adaptive Software Development, FDD
  25. 25. AGILE MANIFESTOWe 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
  26. 26. IN A NUTSHELL Working software product as the primary deliverable Iterative and incremental product development Close collaboration between customer/business and technical roles Dave Rooney, “An Organizational Structure for Agile Projects”
  27. 27. Sounds simple enough
  28. 28. WHAT IS “WHOLE AGILE”? Successful agile is more than... working software delivered iteratively in collaboration with customers a set of processes a set of software development practices Whole Agile looks at the organization as a system taking into account not only Process but also People, Culture, Communication, Physical Environment, Requirements, Organizational Roles
  30. 30. ESSENTIAL ASPECTS OF WHOLE AGILE Basic Agile Practices Software Development Practices Culture People Organization and Roles Communication Feedback and Adaptation
  31. 31. ASPECT: BASIC AGILE PRACTICES Backlog of remaining work Iteration planning Short, frequent meetings (daily standups) Available customer or customer representative (Product Owner) Burn down charts or similar progress tracking Deliverable software at the end of each iteration Retrospective
  32. 32. ASPECT: SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES Out of scope for this discussion Important to trust the technical team to decide
  33. 33. Requirements sidebar
  34. 34. ASPECT: CULTURE Agile Cultural Norms Whole Team Customer Value-Oriented Honesty Transparency Trust Commitment Excellence Sustainable Pace Hunger for feedback Continuous Learning Adaptable Accountable
  35. 35. ASPECT: PEOPLE Alistair Cockburn: “non-linear, first-order components of software development” People are: sensitive to communication timing and modality inconsistent over time variable day to day and place to place good citizens that want to do a good job
  36. 36. ASPECT: PEOPLE Leadership - it takes courage Frequency and impact of decisions increased Empowerment and trust Holding people accountable
  37. 37. No place to hide
  38. 38. ASPECT: ORGANIZATION Key Roles (Dave Rooney, “An Org. Structure for Agile Projects”) Customer or Customer Proxy Coach Subject Matter Expert Generalizing Specialist QA Comptroller Organizational Structure pseudo-matrixed Dual Career Paths
  39. 39. ASPECT: COMMUNICATION High bandwidth Open and honest Directly with customer Transparent at all levels Real-time as possible Meetings
  40. 40. ASPECT: FEEDBACK AND ADAPTATION Culture demands constant feedback and adaptation Relentless identification and elimination of waste Self-assessment through retrospectives Guided by metrics (generated automatically) Peer feedback Experimentation and feedback (failure is an option) Feedback isn’t enough alone -- adaptation
  41. 41. OTHER WHOLE AGILE ASPECTS Physical Environment Tools Portfolio management Simplicity Just enough, just in time, just do it
  42. 42. LEAN THINKING Lean Software Development -- Mary and Tom Poppendieck Borrows heavily from Toyota Production System 7 Principles Optimize the whole Eliminate waste Build in quality Learn constantly Deliver as fast as possible Engage everyone Keep getting better
  43. 43. IN SUMMARY (10 min) Software companies want to deliver more, faster Non-software companies want to better leverage IT resources Whole Agile means: Iteratively deliver working software in collaboration with the customer PLUS Whole Team Deep commitment to delivering customer value Healthy culture Open and honest communication and transparency Feedback and adaptation Relentless elimination of waste
  44. 44. READING LIST