The science and practice of managing software development is being revolutionized. Following the introduction of Lean Manufacturing in Japan, ‘Agile’ software development introduced many of the same principles to more complex development work. Popular methods like Scrum, eXtreme Programming and Kanban have shown radical improvements in all aspects of development including productivity, quality, speed and innovation.
Traditional project management approaches typically aim for efficiencies through standardization and conformance, and in so doing eliminate innovation. They aim to maximize utilization of resources, thereby prolonging time to market. They divide and demarcate roles and responsibilities without understanding how that destroys collaboration and information flow. They invest in extensive up-‐front planning, and then resist emerging reality when it doesn’t conform to the plan.
Creative development requires variability to add value and therefore must thrive in the presence of uncertainty and risk, otherwise it cannot produce innovative solutions. Agile and Lean methods are designed to achieve optimum outcomes in the presence of churn – they expect, and indeed capitalise on, constant change. They recognise that change is the only constant and the ability to maximise value creation in the face of such change is a powerful competitive weapon.
AgileInnovation has developed a range of services including training, consultancy and coaching to support organisations adopting and embedding Agile and Lean concepts and methods. As well as customised classroom based training, our philosophy is to support application of the ‘theory’ to the company’s particular context. This can involve in-‐depth assessments of opportunities and barriers to agile adoption, as well as coaching of teams and mentoring of scrummasters and champions. Educating senior management on the financial benefits of agile and lean can be essential. The ability to provide targeted training and workshops as teams encounter challenges can also be critical to ensuring ongoing progress and improvement.
Formal training includes Executive Briefings on agile and lean, development team Overviews, in-‐depth Scrum and Kanban courses and more specialised Product Owner/Manager and Agile Testing training. Embedded coaching and on the job training will support the organisation while the new practices and culture ‘bed-‐in’.