Agile SCM - Review of 2007 and Predictions for 2008

[article]
Summary:
In this January article, the authors look back at the software development landscape in 2007 and make predictions for 2008.

As is traditional for a January column we are going to look back at 2007's review and predictions and look ahead to the coming year. Agile is mainstream these days, which basically means it has crossed the chasm from early adopters. Along with agile crossing the chasm there has been an increased desire to make agile and lean development scale across the enterprise. That is partly responsible for the focus on collaboration, and the working of wiki's into the overall software tracking and the knowledge-management process. But this also has some bad effects as well (in addition to some good ones).

"Agile" everything
All the Agile-named products and services claiming to be Agile (legitimate or otherwise) will be even more mainstream, whether it is claiming to be "Agile CM", "Agile Requirements" or "Agile Waterfall" or "Agile Outsourcing", (or whatever else someone can think of to make a buck)

"Agile 2.0" and "Post-Agile"
Of course the above also leads to the question of the current state of what we've previously seen dubbed as "
Next Generation Agile " or " Agile 2.0 ". Where is that headed? Lean & Six Sigma have officially been married into " Lean Six Sigma ".

    • There's been recent talk of a " Post-Agile" movement as something that goes beyond merely Scrum and XP (and even Lean). And there's also been a lot of backlash against that idea as well.
    • More recently, David Anderson started a KanBan development for sustainable software engineering movement (and YahooGroup) that claims to do away with iterations when you can have short-enough releases and decoupling release content planning from feature content planning so that the latter can occur more dynamically as feature development progress. The ideas are based primarily on Kan-Ban principles from the Toyota Production System (TPS) together with TOC applied to more the software engineering lifecycles.
    • Craig Larman has an upcoming book on scaling & adopting Agile/Lean for successful large, multi-site & offshore using "Large-Scale Scrum"

Global Collaboration and Convergence
We previously mentioned the rise in globalization and the resulting effects on software development.  This is an obvious and growing trend with out-sourcing, in-sourcing, off-shoring, near-shoring and all their brethren.

The challenges of this distributed development for SCM are obvious, with various tools and technologies being marketed, developed and adapted to address these needs.

An interesting development is that it is increasingly not just teams within the same company who need to collaborate, but also different companies and fluid networks of partner companies. Within the same company it tends to be easier to mandate a single SCM tool to help address the distributed development requirement. Even in single companies, you get new acquisitions, off-shoring partners etc which make life more complicated.

There are increasing numbers of companies that have fairly fluid requirements to work with different partners remotely. This can be as simple as individual contractors working from home, to third party companies completing a particular project which may take just a few months. Life becomes even more complicated if you have integrations with third party software, or some element of open source software to manage.

One of the key challenges when working with third parties is the likelihood of both sides using different SCM tools. You are thus faced with collaborative working requirements across tools - and traditionally vendors have tended to be less interested in

Pages

About the author

Brad Appleton's picture Brad Appleton

Brad Appleton is a software CM/ALM solution architect and lean/agile development champion at a large telecommunications company. Currently he helps projects and teams adopt and apply lean/agile development and CM/ALM practices and tools. He is coauthor of the book Software Configuration Management Patterns, a columnist for the CMCrossroads and AgileConnection communities at Techwell.com,  and a former section editor for The C++ Report. You can read Brad's blog at blog.bradapp.net.

About the author

Steve Berczuk's picture Steve Berczuk

Steve Berczuk is a Principal Engineer and Scrum Master at Fitbit. The author of Software Configuration Management Patterns: Effective Teamwork, Practical Integration, he is a recognized expert in software configuration management and agile software development. Steve is passionate about helping teams work effectively to produce quality software. He has an M.S. in operations research from Stanford University and an S.B. in Electrical Engineering from MIT, and is a certified, practicing ScrumMaster. Contact Steve at steve@berczuk.com or visit berczuk.com and follow his blog at blog.berczuk.com.

About the author

Robert Cowham's picture Robert Cowham

Robert Cowham has long been interested in software configuration management while retaining the attitude of a generalist with experience and skills in many aspects of software development. A regular presenter at conferences, he authored the Agile SCM column within the CM Journal together with Brad Appleton and Steve Berczuk. His day job is as Services Director for Square Mile Systems whose main focus is on skills and techniques for infrastructure configuration management and DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) - applying configuration management principles to hardware documentation and implementation as well as mapping ITIL services to the underlying layers.

AgileConnection is one of the growing communities of the TechWell network.

Featuring fresh, insightful stories, TechWell.com is the place to go for what is happening in software development and delivery.  Join the conversation now!

Upcoming Events

Nov 09
Nov 09
Apr 13
May 03