Tag Archives: John Deere

How many organisations are failing to deliver on their Agile developments?

By David Bicknell

How many organisations are struggling to see real value and business benefits from their Agile IT projects?

This blog, looking back at some of the predictions for Agile in 2012, argues that a number of organisations that have adopted Agile have an inability to understand its why and how, while others are inadaquately prepared for adoption, resulting in a failure to address management impact across teams and engineering practices in teams.

The piece cites the Cutter Consortium blog which, in looking ahead to 2012, argued that “many organisations worldwide will continue to adopt Agile. Most of them will do so with no expert guidance, with ho-hum results, and with little understanding of why they got those results.

It suggestted that, “People will continue to get their Agile skills certified while others rail against the value and implication of those certificates. Companies will still rely on head hunters to hire Agile coaches, and wonder why those coaches can’t seem to straighten out their Agile implementation.

“Organisations will continue to agonise over micro-estimation of detailed backlogs. They will continue to spend a pretty penny on “adding bodies” to projects riddled with technical debt, while not investing in the skills and habits their developers need to reduce or avoid increasing such debt. Managers will continue to use language like, “We just hired a resource in development” without investing proper attention in the hired person. And downsizings will continue until morale improves.”

Another blog predicted that, “Everyone will claim they are Agile, but that 50% of them will be wrong, and half of the rest won’t get any value from it. There are too many bad development practices at organisations that have too few people, with too little coaching, and hardly any tooling.”

Meanwhile, this survey suggests that Agile development has a higher priority in the private sector (in the US) than in the public sector.

So what is the true picture for Agile? Is it delivering project success, as JP Morgan and John Deere, have found? Or are some organisations adopting Agile almost as a fashion accessory, without really understanding where they’re going?

Related reading

Agile skills gain ground

JP Morgan adopts Agile in Australia

As Agile as a John Deere tractor

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As Agile as a John Deere tractor

By David Bicknell

Thanks to Rally Software’s Agile Blog for a pointer to a Computerworld post about the use of Agile development at the tractor maker John Deere & Co.

It seems that John Deere has moved 800 software developers into an Agile development process  in around a year.

This involved recreating the company’s software development effort around new teams that included developers, systems engineers, customer support and marketing personnel, testers, all working closely together.

It is ironic that although  John Deere’s software development work is incremental through an Agile approach that is designed to deliver speed, innovation, quality, customer focus and teamwork,  the company’s actual move to adopt Agile as a development philosophy was more of a Big Bang approach than an incremental one, and was partly designed to overcome any resistance.