Scaling Agile Development for Enterprise Software

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5. Watch Out for Pitfalls
Congratulations. You’ve adopted agile methodologies, created an agile culture, and are scaling it up across your enterprise. Now you need to be vigilant to stay on track and not get sloppy. Watch out for common pitfalls that break agile, including the following:

  • Having an unrealistic definition of “done.” Make sure the definition is clear and achievable, not overly complex or over-ambitious.
  • Not having testable code. As code moves up the maturity scale, it must undergo frequent testing and quality inspection. Without the right automation, catching defects manually at higher levels is difficult and costly.
  • Team spelled with an “I.” Agile is a team-based methodology. In order for it to succeed, all team members must be engaged. Allowing one team member to control the team and not allow everyone to speak will stifle vital collaboration.
  • Slowing down. Quick builds and frequent or continuous code integrations are essential to agile. Make sure to keep up the pace. Automate aggressively and limit how often teams can stay isolated.
  • Slipping back into old habits. One anti-pattern organizations commonly fall into is reverting back to one main code line because change management is too difficult. Having an agile-centric SCM solution can help avoid this by simplifying and automating change management.

Implementing and scaling agile in large, enterprise development organizations is not only possible, it’s becoming a strategic imperative. As with many cultural shifts, the first step is often the hardest. The most important success factor of all is this: get started now and take it one step at a time. Once your organization begins to see the benefits, building support and energy around agile will only get easier.

User Comments

2 comments
Ramunas Balcetis's picture

could you expand a bit on what do you mean by 'Adapt releases and projects mid-stream to respond to changing requirements' ?  especially - releases.  thank you.

March 26, 2014 - 6:12pm

About the author

Larry Ayres's picture Larry Ayres

Larry Ayres is Vice President of Engineering and Support at AccuRev, a leading provider of application lifecycle software solutions. He has more than tweny years’ management experience with software companies such as MetraTech, Comverse, Boston Technology, and General Electric, and holds several US patents related to the telecom sector.

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