Agile Software Development: It's Not the Wild West


success that Agile may bring to an organization.

Agile Shift
The Agile structure is typically not easily inserted into hierarchical company cultures. In making the shift toward Agile, important cultural adjustments must be considered. Included are some of the more important considerations (but not limited too):

Team Collaboration: Folks on a project team employing Agile need be dedicated to that project team. They will be working together all of the time. They cannot be multi-tasking between two or more projects. This promotes continuous collaboration that is a cornerstone to Agile methods for software development.

Team Location: In order to have collaboration, it is best that folks are working as closely together as possible. Many project teams employing Agile have dedicated and centralized work areas. Proximity promotes participation and collaboration.

Customer Participation:  Project teams employing Agile must have easy and continuous access to the customer or customer representatives. This means getting significant time commitments from the customer. This can be quite challenging. The whole point of employing Agile is so the customer can get a continuous view of the evolving solution so they can adjust quickly to clarifications and new business demands.

Terminology: Companies have their standard terminology for methodology, reporting, and hierarchy. Agile introduces new terminology, methodology, reporting, and team structure. This requires some adjustment.

Project Reporting: It is important to note that reporting is different from standard company reporting. Most traditional companies ask for a Gantt chart to assess a project's progress. Agile teams typically provide Burn-down charts.

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