the standards compatible. The end result is a blended framework that has the best competencies to meet the goals of the organization. By taking a holistic approach, the resulting framework is comprehensive and can be used to address all of the needs of the product life cycle.
Organizing the Agile framework
Agile enthusiasts would argue that you do not "do" Agile - you "are" Agile. However, "being Agile" means that you must somehow organize your development processes around some combination of XP, Scrum, Lean, DSDM, FDD, and Unified Process among others. Organizing this into a coherent methodology can be a challenging endeavor especially for use in large organizations.
Dean Leffingwell in his book, "Scaling Software Agility", p. 87, notes that when scaling agile to the enterprise, there are two challenges:
- Challenges inherent in Agile itself (because of fixed rule bases and assumptions built into the methods) and,
- Those imposed by the enterprise (including impediments that likely exist within the enterprise that will otherwise prevent the successful application of the new methods.
As is noted in Leffingwell's book, both types of challenges must be successfully addressed in order for the enterprise to achieve the full benefits of Agile.
Applying Agility to Agile
Software Process Improvement is always a challenging endeavor with many obstacles that must be addressed in order to overcome organizational resistance to change. Demonstrating that processes are right-sized and robust is essential to promoting Agile best practices. It is my opinion, as a process improvement practitioner, that Agile needs to grow into a comprehensive and well-organized framework that is well understood and can be applied to any application life cycle. One way to do this is through blending standards and frameworks, when necessary, to meet organizational goals. Mapping and harmonizing Agile to industry standards and frameworks will help to show senior management that Agile can be the basis for a comprehensive framework that can also support IT Governance and compliance.
Agile practices are tremendously valuable to organizations and need to be supported and promoted. Overcoming the challenges inherent in Agile itself will help promote Agility into its rightful place in software development methodologies and realize tremendous value for those organizations who are wise enough to adopt them!
Bob Aiello is the Editor-in-Chief for CM Crossroads and an independent consultant specializing in Software Process Improvement including Software Configuration and Release Management. Mr. Aiello has over 25 years experience as a technical manager in several top NYC Financial Services firms where he had had company-wide responsibility for CM, often providing hands-on technical support for enterprise Source Code Management tools, SOX/Cobit compliance, build engineering, continuous integration and automated application deployment. Bob is a long standing member of the Steering Committee of the NYC Software Process Improvement Network (CitySPIN), where he serves as the chair of the CM SIG. Mr. Aiello holds a Masters in Industrial Psychology from NYU and a B.S. in Computer Science and Math from Hofstra University. You may contact Mr. Aiello at firstname.lastname@example.org or link with him at http://www.linkedin.com/in/bobaiello.