The Agile Executive

Making Agile Work

Energy from New York

with 5 comments

In her recent post on the Rally event in Los AngelesJean characterized the energy in the room as “electric!” Yesterday’s event in New York was characterized by similar energy. There was something in the air – folks having a great time learning about and discussing the subtle points of the art of making great software.


Governance was a major topic for the participants in NYC. Those representing financial institutes highlighted the inevitable delay and disruption to the process that change control boards cause. Media folks indicated how difficult it is to reconcile the editorial process with the technical process. A disconnect seems to be happening in both cases: Agile is not broadly accepted beyond certain scale, nor by all corporate functions. Hence, various attempts to “harness” Agile, to only use it selectively.



Governance seems to be applied more pedantically these days due to cost cutting measures. In particular, experimentation is frowned at in many place. The simple fact that Agile fosters innovation through affordable experimentation is not fully understood. Nor are the precious life-cycle effects of innovation adequately comprehended.



I came out of the NYC event convinced that we as a movement have a great opportunity on our hands. What we -Agilists – do works quite well. The need clearly exists to elevate Agile to the enterprise level. We will be solving a real problem in so doing.




Written by israelgat

April 3, 2009 at 8:52 am

5 Responses

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  1. Hello, Israel

    These are very interesting observations from your experience with that group; thank you for sharing.

    My interpretation is that for these organizations there is a divide between projects whose experimentation is allowed for cost-cutting purposes v. those whose experimentation cannot occur for governance reasons. Is that how you understood their adoption of Agile?

    Did you get a sense that there was a faction represented at the event which felt that their organization’s adoption of Agile could organically bridge this divide through progressively successful adoption of Agile on more and more of their activities?

    Or, did you sense that the most energetic members of their organizations – those attending this event – do not believe that their organization could ever bridge this divide?

    Brad Sherman

    April 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm

  2. Thanks for the kind words, Brad!

    I would characterize the phenomenon I experienced in NYC as differentiating between two levels in which Agile can be applied. Some folks/organizations apply it strictly as a set of best practices for developing software. Others have figured out the connection between Agile and innovation and are intentional about encouraging affordable experiementation for innovation. Over time many of the “strictly best practices for software development” folks are likely to re-discover the power of affordable experimentation and migrate toward the {experimentation –> innovation–> business value} approach.

    My impressions from talking with various media folks is that they most definitely bridge the gap between the editorial process and the technical/Agile process. Their synthesis of these two processes has various attributes particular to the media business. However, it is not different in essence from reconciling Agile with established portfolio management or life-cycle management processes in software companies.



    April 4, 2009 at 10:35 am

  3. […] a comment » Participant responses to the feedback questionnaire from the recent Rally event in NYC and the companion event in LA have been posted in the Rally Agile Success blog. Interestingly […]

  4. […] a comment » Various posts in this blog (click, for example, here, here, and here) brought up noteworthy threads from the Rally Agile Success Tour events in Denver, Los Angeles […]

  5. […] will allow myself to repeat my recent assessment from the NYC event as it applies so well to the Santa Clara event: I came out of the Santa Clara event convinced […]

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