The Agile Executive

Making Agile Work


with 6 comments

This blog is for the executive interested in rolling Agile at the enterprise level. It provides executive coaching through a series of “fireside chats”. These chats are augmented by a Q&A service that forms an integral part of blog.

The executive who would find this blog of interest is not necessarily a R&D executive. Enterprise level Agile implementations could affect such diverse functions as Marketing, Sales, Customer Support, Professional Services, or Revenue Recognition. The blog explores the myriads of operational, financial and business issues that stand in the way and opportunities that arise when Agile is implemented on a large scale. It does not generally focus on details of the “How”, i.e. the nuts and bolts of Agile. Rather, it leans towards emphasizing the “Whys” and the “Whats” of Agile. It is designed to primarily cater to the needs of the broad-minded executive who wishes to better understand the opportunity to harness Agile methods towards the achievement of business goals.

The Agile software to be discussed here can be developed as an end to itself, as part of an embedded system, as part of a business process a corporation is implementing, or in support of an initiative a corporation is taking. As software becomes more and more pervasive, chances are the blog will be relevant to you as an executive almost irrespective of what industry you are in. As a matter of fact, Agile methods often lead to agile patterns and behaviors in domains that have got nothing to do with software per se.

We expect our choice of topics to be guided to a great extent by comments made by the readers on blog posts and questions raised through the blog’s Q&A service. We will, of course, regularly bring up topics that we deem important and relevant. Significant that those might be, in the final analysis what really matters is the set of Agile questions on your mind.

Israel Gat

Israel Gat is Cutter Consortium Fellow and Director, Cutter Consortium Agile Product & Project Management Practice, as well as a Fellow of the Lean Systems Society. He is recognized as the architect of the agile transformation at BMC Software where, under his leadership, Scrum users increased from zero to 1,000, resulting in nearly three times faster time to market than industry average and 20-50% improvement in team productivity. Among other accolades for leading this transition, Dr. Gat was presented with an Innovator of the Year Award from Application Development Trends in 2006.

Dr. Gat’s executive career spans top technology companies, including IBM, Microsoft, Digital, and EMC. He has led the development of products such as BMC Performance Manager and Microsoft Operations Manager, enabling the two companies to move toward next-generation system management technology. Dr. Gat is also well versed in growing smaller companies and has held advisory and venture capital positions for companies in new, high-growth markets.

Dr. Gat currently splits his time between consulting and writing. He focuses on technical debt, large-scale implementations of lean software methods and agile business service management (“devops”). His recent e-book, The Concise Executive Guide to Agile, explains how the three can be tied together to form an effective software governance framework. Dr. Gat holds a PhD in computer science and an MBA. In addition to publishing with Cutter and the IEEE, he posts frequently at The Agile Executive and tweets as agile_exec. He can be reached at

Michael Coté

Coté is an analyst with RedMonk covering, among many other things, Agile Software Development. His interest is both personal and professional: having been a software developer, he found that Agile can help address some of the nagging problems of development and at RedMonk he’s able to work with clients and the RedMonk community around Agile.

For more, see Coté’s RedMonk bio and check out his blog at

Written by Coté

January 6, 2009 at 9:01 pm

6 Responses

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  1. […] a comment » David Anderson, James Shore and I engaged in a Twitter dialog about the post Every Nine Minutes. Our exchange highlights the […]

  2. […] from which much was expected, produced little.”   Agile and pragmatism Last week, both Israel Gat and I attended Rally’s “Agile Success Story Tour” (he as a presenter and moderator, me as an […]

  3. […] Newman pointed out that both Brian Marick and I are actually talking about a social contract for Agile. Brian in his response to the question […]

  4. […] Cote, Andrew Shafer and I have been pondering  about aligning development and operations for quite sometime. On the one […]

  5. […] and those I will continue to bring up in The Agile Executive. Either way, I trust my posts and Cote’s will be of on-going interest to […]

  6. […] culture, a task requiring huge effort and significant time. At the Agile Roots conference, I met Israel Gat and he shared a different approach: work with the existing culture; don’t try to change […]

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