Using Agile Development To Build A Partnership Between IT and Business


built, the team can focus on ensuring that the velocity reflects a truly sustainable pace.

Respect the time of the business owners
The final point is not specific to agile development, but agile practices provide good guidance on how to do this. Agile requires active involvement of the business owners throughout the development process. Optimally, one or more business users would be in the team room with the team. In reality this is rarely the case. Therefore, teams use business analysts or other team members to serve as proxies for the business owners, setting up specific processes and meetings to ensure that functionality details are captured. Good facilitation is important in these meetings to make sure that the time spent with the real business users has clear objectives and is efficient.

Continuing to building the trust relationship is crucial for agile approaches to be effective. Leveraging the iteration retrospective to proactively ensure that the process is working for the development team and the business partner is a good way to ensure the partnership grows. Understanding the business staff's needs and creatively changing the process to help the business owners remain involved and committed can ensure that the partnership will flourish a long time.

The years of missed dates, fights over scope, and inability to adjust to changing business demands has broken the trust relationship between IT and business. To effectively sell agile to business leaders requires a working partnership between the IT and business staff. Focusing on rebuilding trust at the start of a project is therefore the key to selling agile to the business, and agile practices are good mechanisms to do that. The good news is that the business leaders will be strong advocates of agile development once they see it work for them. 

About the Author
Dave leads the agile practice for Digital Focus . Dave brings over 15 years of experience in organizational change management and project management. For the past four years, Dave has served as an agile coach and change leader in helping Digital Focus and its clients adopt agile practices. Dave specializes in helping client leadership adopt a different way of thinking about IT, focusing on delivering continuous value by working in short cycles that maximize ROI.

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