#1 Reason Agile Development Fails
This article discusses Agile Development and why it fails so often. It focuses on how Continuous Delivery can dramatically improve your chances of success and credibility.
Agile Development, you hear the hype and read about it daily. Many software teams have switched to using the Agile Methodology. It seems as though every software company I talk to says “Oh yeah, we use agile.” When I ask them how it’s working out, the reactions are not so enthusiastic. The fact is that most organizations are not getting the results they hoped from Agile Development.
How it could it be that with thousands of books, conferences and experts that Agile Development isn’t living up to the expectation for most companies? There are multiple reasons why, and in this post I am going to focus on one key impediment that is often overlooked.
#1 Reason Agile Development Fails
Let’s start with the #1 reason Agile Development fails: Lack of support from upper management. I’ve seen and heard it many times. Management wants a feature or release to happen right away and the entire sprint is blown up! The process is not respected or followed which quickly leads to disillusionment and eventual failure. How can this be, when Agile Development by its very name is designed for flexibility?
It is the result of the expectations vs. reality. The reality is that most execs don’t really care how you do your job. They just want you to deliver business value. They simply expect to be able to make changes and additions to their software and quickly. This is not an unreasonable expectation to want to grow their business.
When the promise of rapid high quality software doesn’t meet expectations, you can expect that process will be interrupted by the business. So the only way to prevent the breakdown is by building credibility. Credibility is earned through the consistent delivery of business value. That gives you breathing room to execute your process.
If your Agile Development environment is not automated, it’s not able to support Agile Development. When you attempt to start rolling out software more rapidly, you will only get to wrestle with your environment more frequently. The solution for that? Continuous Delivery.
Before you try to fully implement an Agile Development process you should focus on automating your environment. As you begin to make progress, your development efforts will speed up and if you also automate your testing, so will your quality. This begins to build confidence in your team and its abilities and increase credibility.
Continuous Delivery Environment
A Continuous Delivery Environment will support the agile process in providing:
● Business Value: Continuous Delivery lets you deliver the business value inherent in new software releases to customers more quickly. With a shorter time to market, you have more competitive advantages.
● Better Products: Continuous Delivery involves frequent releases that provide quicker user feedback. The team can weed out features that are not useful and focus on the ones that are, which constantly refocuses the product.
● Improved Workflow: Continuous Delivery is all about automation, which saves significant time for developers, testers, operations engineers, etc.
● Reliable Releases: In Continuous Delivery, the deployment process and scripts are tested repeatedly before deployment to production, which means that most errors have already been discovered and fixed. Finding and fixing problems becomes easier and less time consuming.
● Quality and Customer Satisfaction: Continuous Delivery reduces the number of bugs and production incidents, and all of these factors influence improved customer satisfaction.
Continuous Delivery is about automation. It’s about having a process that avoids all of the pitfalls of manual deployment:
● Problems rolling back
● Error Prone
●All-Nighters, Missed vacations
Automation is better for your IT team and any organization seeking improved systems, efficiency, and improved end results. It works in tandem to create an environment that will support the agile principles.
It’s not a surprise that agile implementations frequently fail when you look at the barriers. In order to decrease the rate of failure, it’s wise to focus on building out your Continuous Delivery Environment. This can be done before or in parallel to implementing agile principles when done in stages.
Selling automation to your CFO or owner is also an easy sell. They’re always thinking about how high their IT salaries are. Their open to any automated solution that makes the team more efficient. It’s the first step toward gaining your credibility and making your agile process succeed. Add some metrics about your current cycle time (from idea to production) and show that you’re focused on increasing business value and start to increase your credibility.
You may also be interested in: The Business Case for Cloud-based Continuous Delivery Environments
Third Wave is a boutique software development company located in Boca Raton, Florida. Our business acumen, agile development solutions, and perfected continuous development process offer unmatched levels of expertly crafted software and development services. Our team is dedicated to helping companies break into the new era of rapidly changing business trends with adaptive technology that provides sophisticated business solutions.
Third Wave also offers Cloud CDE, a fully automated cloud based Continuous Delivery Environment “in a box”. Cloud CDE and our consulting services provide a jump start to organizations that are ready to start transforming their culture to a high performing IT organization.