- The business drivers on investment or change in the software delivery model
- Organizational dynamics and culture
- Talent in the technology organization
Does your business require IT to operate like a startup, or compete with them?
Agile practices (SCRUM, XP, etc.) are almost a standard at startups? When we started TripConnect, we followed agile methodologies even though the first version of the product was developed offshore. Why do startups follow agile? Can you imagine a Startup CTO telling investors that they would spend two months on documentation and three months on development work before demoing a first version of software?
At BusinessWeek, it was a business mandate to establish a startup culture as part of launching Business Exchange? Specifically, we wanted to listen to users, respond to market conditions, adjust priorities, and release features frequently. Those priorities pretty much set us down a path of agile development.
After that, we went on to explain to key executives that we would be follow an agile development lifecycle. We didn't spend a lot of time discussing SCRUM or other approaches internally or with executives. We didn't talk about standup meetings, colocation, or retrospectives. We simply explained that we would be delivering software iteratively and that we would demo the results at the end of every iteration. We ran our first demo after Iteration 1. This approach worked for one simple reason:
Agile development is all about Execution
Now getting to execution is the hard part and touched on both organizational dynamics and team talent. Stay tuned.