Disrupt Your Business and Evolve
Business Process Management (BPM)

Disrupt Your Business and Evolve

Quinton Pienaar, CEO of Agilitude, the African reseller of Salesforce.com says that the speed of change within business has increased exponentially with innovation cycles moving from 10 years to under one year:  “Businesses wanting to compete and excel in the modern economy must adapt and be able to respond to changing market conditions with ease and speed.”  He says that one way to do this is to disrupt traditional business models and embrace new mind-sets, tools and practices that enable the transformation necessary to support rapid business growth.

“Many companies are selling Agile and other frameworks or practices while having little understanding of the actual practice.  It is positioned as the silver bullet to resolve the problems that customers experience with development, and it is not one.  In addition, development shops, with little appreciation of the actual practices, adopt it which leads to problems and failed projects,” explains Pienaar.

Agile should not be undertaken without proper understanding of the key elements.   It requires a mature development team as the environment moves from one controlled by management, to one that is supported by management, and controlled by the team.  “Being part of a team and being empowered to make decisions for the team is something most people are not used to and it often requires significant coaching.  The effect on the organisation should also not to be under-estimated,” says Pienaar.  

Agile development is very collaborative and involves the business stakeholders every step of the way.  Pienaar says that companies are not always geared to accommodate this approach of continual improvement:  “An Agile team must be dedicated to on-going learning, constantly examining activities to decide what is useful and what is not.  These teams focus on engineering and employ practices like continuous integration to achieve the required quality. This key driver is often what differentiates a mediocre agile team from a great one.”

He stresses that Agile development is best suited to environments that are fast paced, often breaking new ground and learning new information.  “It is not required in an environment where there is little change and is averse to transformation.  Agile, like all practices has an important role to play in the right environment.”

Without an understanding of the key elements, committing to an Agile journey and adopting mature practices will lead to Agile being sold as a false hope to development problems.  The journey can be painful, taking time and significant commitment.  “Teams that are not fully cognisant of Agile and the required approach are at risk of undertaking a new set of activities, but producing the same results.  It takes significant time and effort to adopt Agile practices and move down the maturity curve. Before embarking on the journey, ask yourself, are you doing it because it's popular or necessary?”

 

For more information download Quinton Pienaar’s eBook at www.agilitude.co.za; read his blog on www.buildingagilecultures.com; or follow Pienaar on Twitter @agilecutlures and @agilitude.

 

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Quinton Pienaar

Quinton Pienaar, CEO of Agilitude

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