The decision to launch The Agile Executive in January 2009 stems from the confluence of economic imperatives, unfulfilled business needs and maturation of adjacent technologies that make this a perfect time for deploying Agile at the enterprise level.
The current macro-economic crisis has created a great deal of uncertainty with respect to operating environments. Corporations, large and small, are forced to revisit their core assumptions and modus operandi in response to changes that were not anticipated just a few months ago. The ability to quickly reconfigure the business is the best antidote to the challenges pervasive uncertainty poses. The flexibility and speed of Agile could and should play a critical role in reconfiguring the business to better respond to change. Dealing with “changing requirements” is what Agile was built from the start to enable.
- The application of Agile at the corporate level as distinct from piecemeal implementation in selected pockets
- The utilization of Agile methods beyond software
- The development of business designs that take advantage of the capabilities of Agile methods
Effective fulfillment of these three needs is likely to transform and increase the value of not “only” R&D, but the company as a whole.
Last but not least, the compound effect of coupling Agile methods with technological progress in adjacent domains of software creates new opportunities for utilizing Agile. For example, virtual appliance techniques open the door for bridging the chasm between software development and IT operations. We are now able to “containerize”, distribute and provision the output of hyper-productive Agile teams as virtual appliances in a much faster manner than through traditional deployment methods. The power of so doing was demonstrated close to two years ago by Walter Bodwell who prototyped a containerized version of the BMC Performance Manager using rPath virtual appliance techniques. If we were to do so today, we would use rPath virtualization technology to put the BMC Performance Manager in the Cloud.
We will explore the various topics listed above at greater length and depth in subsequent posts. For now, think of The Agile Executive as a Michelin guide to your executive journey into Agile.