On Enterprise-Level Agile and Software Development: An Interview with Dr. Charles Suscheck


CS: If you have a faster project, you want to get more things done. Do you want to turn on and off the lights more frequently? Just like driving at night. Sure you do. You've got unknown variables, external variables affecting you. You want to turn the lights off and on more often.

You've got a critical project. You're driving down a rough road. You want to turn the lights on more often.

You've got more people on the project. You want to inspect and adapt more often. That's what agile really is talking about: inspecting and adapting, and it seems silly not to do it. That's some of the ways I try and convince upper management about it.

JV: That sounds great. Hopefully, some of our readers will use that example. That's a very specific example.

CS: I don't know.

JV: Let's end things on a little look to the future for 2014. What do you see in store for 2014, as far as agile goes?

CS: I see a lot of team-level work becoming almost a commodity. People say they're agile coaches and they can come in and help a team. A lot of people can do that now. It's not rocket science like it used to be. 

I see another problem in that if scaled agile framework isn't careful, they're kicking off people that are certified scaled agile framework consultants who have just gone through a five-day class. Then they step into an organization and try and make an organizational transformation. If they're not careful, those people can bring a lot of bad words to agile just because they're not experienced.

They come in. They goof something up, not at the team level but at the organizational level. That might start to kick up its head a little bit.

I see some things with Scrum with the organizational transformation. It'll start to make a difference, I think. I'm going to stop calling myself an agile coach and call myself a business consultant, I think because everybody's an agile coach now.

JV: All right. Then we can update your bio. Let me know when that change happens, and we'll update that. Thank you so much for taking the time. Hope the holidays are going well for you.

CS: Thanks much, and I hope my stories were entertaining to you, if nothing else.

JV: Definitely. All right, Charles. Thank you.


Charles SuscheckDr. Charles Suscheck is a nationally recognized agile leader who specializes in agile software development adoption at the enterprise level. He is one of only eleven trainers worldwide and three in the US certified to teach the entire Scrum.org curriculum.  With over twenty-five years of professional experience, Dr. Suscheck has held positions of process architect, director of research, principle consultant, professor, and professional trainer at some of the most recognized companies in America. He has spoken at national and international conferences such as Agile 200X, OOPSLA, and ECOOP on topics related to agile project management and is a frequent author in industry and academia. Dr. Suscheck has over thirty publications to his credit.

About the author

Jonathan Vanian's picture Jonathan Vanian

Jonathan Vanian is an online editor who edits, writes, interviews, and helps turn the many cranks at StickyMinds, TechWell, AgileConnection, and CMCrossroads. He has worked for newspapers, websites, and a magazine, and is not as scared of the demise of the written word as others may appear to be. Software and high technology never cease to amaze him.

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