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Agile Building Blocks: People

Agile Building Blocks: People

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Agile Building Blocks: People

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  1. Agile Building Blocks: People Dave Yardley Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  2. Introduction – Getting Back to Basics • Software development methods and technologies • Rational (no pun intended) • Operate in a predictable and repeatable manner • Employ logic-based reasoning • Enable change through innovation and transformation • People • Can be irrational • Resist change • Display a spectrum of behaviours • Decisions not always based on logic • Now we have the right methods and technologies for the job, we need to focus on working together with our customers in an agile way Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  3. The Agile Business Equation • Agile business = people • Agile development = technology • Agile success = people + technology • Can we succeed? Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  4. Objectives • The need for business innovation • Using tools and frameworks within IT projects • The reality gap • To identify the scope of the problem • To identify agile ways of working • How to establish them within the project Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  5. The Business of Innovation • We have a number of frameworks, tools and technologies to deliver technical solutions into the organisation, such as: • DSDM • XP • PRINCE2 • SEI-CMM • But implementing projects on-time, within budget and to schedule is irrelevant if we do not deliver measurable benefits into the business Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  6. IT projects must add business value • Strategic • Business innovation • Work smarter • Improve competitiveness • Operational • Improve quality • Improve service • Support • Reduce costs and resources Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  7. The Reality Gap • IT projects still fail to deliver business benefits even when we use mature and proven technologies Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  8. “Technical failure is the least likely problem. Most IT projects fail because the people who have to use the new systems were not sufficiently involved, did not take ownership, did not contribute to the design” David Yardley, Successful IT Project Delivery (Addison Wesley 2002) Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  9. Where are we going wrong? • IS tools and methodologies are important, but they are not a silver bullet • Technical expertise is vital, but soft skills are important too • We make dangerous assumptions on the motivation and behaviour of people Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  10. Traditional project assumptions • We have the appropriate skills, training and professionalism to perform our job • We put group goals ahead of personal goals • We feel empowered to disagree with decisions made by our superiors • We share information • We behave ethically • We are prepared to change Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  11. Traditional project consequences • We work as individuals, not as teams • We do not integrate sufficiently with the business • Risks are taken through poor decision-making • We protect our territory and our knowledge • Business projects continue to fail • We are not happy at work • Our organisation loses its competitive advantage Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  12. The scope of the problem • Aligning business and IT • Organizational culture • Poorly performing project teams Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  13. Aligning business and IT • We do not understand business and they do not understand IT • Stakeholder apathy • Lack of user involvement • Stakeholder conflict Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  14. Organizational Culture • ‘Shoot the messenger’ • Shifting ownership of problems • Reluctance to admit problems • Internal pressure to deliver • Personal agendas • Resistance to change Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  15. Poorly performing project teams • Poorly skilled developers • Weak project management • Lack of motivation • The ‘rusty musket’ • Poor working conditions Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  16. Balancing the Agile Business Equation • We don’t want to repeat our past failures • We have the technology to succeed • We have the processes to succeed • We know that many IT project problems are nothing to do with IT • How can we turn our fine words into positive actions? Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  17. Building Agile Foundations • Build agile teams • Employ the best developers you can afford • Build integrated teams with common goals • Sustainable development – discourage heroics • Reduce the blame culture within the project • Joint ownership • Be prepared to say what you think • Be prepared to listen • Educate the business to ‘think agile’ • Help them change the way you work together Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  18. Agile Business: Working Together • Increase face-to-face communication • Documentation is the worst form of communication • Forget technology – get the whiteboard out • Co-locate the project team in a single area • Make it easier to share information • Reduce the time it takes to make decisions • Everyone needs to be actively involved • Bureaucrats who have no direct involvement must get off the fence and add value • Assign non-IT executives onto software projects • The days of specialists just providing reviews and feedback are over • Use the sponsor to champion the project and support the project manager • Make user experts part of the team Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  19. Is it really that easy? • Whatever agile process you use: • Your team must own it and embrace it • Your team must see value in it • It’s not working if the team see it as an overhead • It’s not working if the customer does not derive value Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  20. Conclusions • Project success is more than IT development success • Methodologies are important, but they are not a silver bullet • How the team interact and work together is more important than processes and tools Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  21. Our Agile Challenge • Be patient • It will take time to change mindsets • Be proud • We’ve come a long way already • Be prepared • Don’t underestimate the politics • We will need to manage the change together Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development

  22. Questions Dave Yardley Capgemini 0870 366 0198 david.yardley@capgemini.com Where Agile Business Meets Agile Development