business, not on the needs of IT as a separate entity and by iterating through business solutions, we were positioning our teams and our company to move forward faster than our peers. Over the years, our mindset changed. We began to not just SAY that the needs of our business was the heartbeat of our company, but we began to align our technology solutions around the needs of our business so our actions matched our words. We, IT, began to really value the aspects that businesses value: output, productivity over efficiency, priority driven schedules, demand driving supply, ROI, etc.
Gradually, one success at a time, I found strong support from the upper echelons of business that didn’t well-understand agile but were seeing the output and hearing the excitement from their own peers. These business leaders comprehended the obvious cost benefits of the following concepts that became foundational for our company:
- using open source software to develop and deploy iteratively
- doing more frequent discovery-delivery-discovery cycles to keep in touch with the market
- waiting till the last responsible moment to commit to key decisions
- adopt metrics to foster collaborative team dynamics rather than focusing on individual brilliance
Now, 10 years later, agile is truly mainstream. No development organization, internal or external, speaks of also-doing-agile or agile-in-stealth-mode. agile is the default software development practice across most organizations. In the same way that no one specifically speaks about “Object Oriented Development” or Cloud Computing as separate practices, agile today is not considered alien but an integral part of the software development teams. Over the past 10 years, I’ve seen larger organizations who could not envision a roadmap of change stagnate and often close their doors to their smaller, more “agile” competitors, so I believe that there are invaluable lessons to be learned here.
Tiffany Lentz is proudly employed as a Principal Consultant and Program Manager with ThoughtWorks, a global IT services firm focused on end-to-end software delivery. She has worked extensively for large clients in the US, Canada, and China, delivering solutions for both disparate system delivery projects and agile enablement and transformation efforts to incorporate and enhance efficiency and delivery processes. She is an author, mentor, coach and trainer of agile methodologies, processes, and practices. Tiffany is the author of Iteration Management Chapter in the ThoughtWorks anthology book and believes that the Iteration Manager’s job is to build a well-oil delivery machine.