The Agile Executive

Making Agile Work

Software Moulding Methods

with 3 comments

Christian Sarkar and I started an e-dialog on Agile Business Service Management in BSMReview. Both of us are keenly interested in exploring the broad application of Agile BSM in the context of Gartner’s Top Ten Technologies for 2010. To quote Christian:

Israel, where do agile practices fit into this? Just about everywhere as well?

The short answer to Christian’s good question is as follows:

I consider the principles articulated in the Manifesto For Agile Software Development universal and timeless. They certainly apply just about everywhere. As a matter of fact, we are seeing the Manifesto principles applied more and more to the development of hardware and content.

The fascinating thing in what we are witnessing (see, for example: Scale in London  – Part IIAn Omen in ChicagoDepth in Seattle, and Richness and Vibrancy in Boston) is the evolution of the classical problem of managing multiple Software Development Life Cycles. Instead of dealing with one ‘material’ (software), we handle multiple ‘materials’ (software, hardware, content, business initiative, etc.) of dissimilar characteristics. The net effect is as follows:

The challenge then becomes the simultaneous and synchronized management of two or more ‘substances’ (e.g. software and content; software, content and business initiative; or, software, hardware, content and business initiative) of different characteristics under a unified process. It is conceptually fairly similar to the techniques used in engineering composite materials.

Ten years have passed since Evans and Wurster demonstrated the effects of separating the virtual from the physical. As software becomes pervasive, we are now starting to explore putting the virtual back together with the physical through a new generation of software moulding methods.

3 Responses

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  1. Hi Israel,

    Bringing the physical and the virtual together again is definitely where we are heading. Here’s a recent clip in which John Hagel says as much –

    I find that businesses are learning a new lesson in “moulding.” They are learning that they must be an integrated part and citizen in their communities – from software, to sustainability, to justice. Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s latest – SuperCorp – explores this trend: companies that do well in the social sense are also performing better than those that don’t.

    Perhaps I’m straying too far from the discussion…


    November 1, 2009 at 10:33 pm

  2. Indeed, the physical vis-a-vis virtual pendulum seems to be swinging back due to the pervasiveness of software. As software becomes a bigger and bigger component of just about any device (for example, some 1 million lines of code on the average in just about any noteworthy cell phone), the nature of the physical changes. For example, the physical becomes much more malleable due to the malleability of the embedded software. Implications for Agile methods and and for Agile Business Service Management are far reaching.


    israel Gat

    November 2, 2009 at 12:15 am

  3. Appropriately enough for the physical vis-a-vis logical discussion above, Xerox has just announced an invention to replace silicon chips with low-cost, durable plastic.

    Click for details.



    israel Gat

    November 3, 2009 at 10:22 pm

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