The Agile Difference for SCM

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Summary:
The authors describe what they believe are the root causes of key differences between agile and traditional development and how they change certain assumptions SCM has about software development.

Should I be Worried About Agile Development?
Agile development practices can significantly impact software development practices. Of course, any significant process change is, ultimately, a change in the organization’s culture. Underlying any cultural change is a set of values and beliefs that define and sustain the change in behaviors and mindsets. How will such changes affect us as SCM professionals?

  • Should SCM professionals be worried about agile projects running out of control?
  • Should agile teams be worried about SCM cramping their style and entangling them in red tape?

We describe what we believe are the root causes of some key differences between agile and traditional development and how they change certain assumptions SCM has about software development.

Should I be Worried About Agile Development?
Agile development practices can significantly impact software development practices. Of course, any significant process change is, ultimately, a change in the organization’s culture. Underlying any cultural change is a set of values and beliefs that define and sustain the change in behaviors and mindsets. How will such changes affect us as SCM professionals?

  • Should SCM professionals be worried about agile projects running out of control?
  • Should agile teams be worried about SCM cramping their style and entangling them in red tape?

Our answer, hopefully, is reassuring to both camps. Agile software advocates push for lean, people-oriented, adaptable development processes. At an XP conference in London recently, one of us met both the wild enthusiasts fired up with XP fervor. The more cautious people were trying to find out what it was all about and leave with some useful ideas.

This represents the real world: though there are increasing numbers of "pure" agile projects out there, there is a much larger number of projects and organizations that are looking to introduce agile packages to their current development processes. Some opt for a revolutionary approach to introduce agility into the workplace. More and more, though, are finding that an evolutionary approach to adopting methods from the agile camp is what is going to have the widest applicability and success.

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