Top Banner

Click here to load reader

The Art of Agile Business

Oct 21, 2014

ReportDownload

Documents

An Iterative Book
As an organization founded on Agile principles, we’re publishing this
book in the only way we know how—iteratively and incrementally.
With each release, we’ll be listening to your feedback, taking your
suggestions, and are interested in how you interact with the material.
We’ll use this information to steer the project in new directions and
make it as valuable as we possibly can.
Please join us—if you haven’t already—by returning to the landing
page at rallydev.com/agilebook.
Sign up and you’ll be the first to receive the next iteration of the book
and other exclusive extras.

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 RALLY SOFTWARE

Bob Gower

The Art of Agile BusinessAgile in Plain Language

Increment v1 | August, 2012

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 Rally Software Development Corp. All rights reserved. 2

An Iterative BookAs an organization founded on Agile principles, were publishing this book in the only way we know howiteratively and incrementally.

With each release, well be listening to your feedback, taking your suggestions, and are interested in how you interact with the material.

Well use this information to steer the project in new directions and make it as valuable as we possibly can.

Please join usif you havent alreadyby returning to the landing page at rallydev.com/agilebook.

Sign up and youll be the first to receive the next iteration of the book and other exclusive extras.

Click to Get Moresign up to get the next release

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 Rally Software Development Corp. All rights reserved. 3

ForwardGiven the great Agile coaching professionals that work for us at Rally, writing a book has al-ways been on our mind. However, in the past we thought it too difficult to publish a quality book while also delivering the many products and ser-vices that our fantastic customers have come to expect. That is until this year when we finally broke through. Thanks to increased scale, a re-organization of services, a dedicated leader, and a lean start-up approach, were excited to present The Art of Agile Businessour contribution to the Agile community.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and I believe this graphic by Kathy Sierra beautifully sums up the mission behind our book.

Since I first saw this graphic, my goal has been to keep Rally and our customers on the Expert curve of Agile. What you will find in these pages is an extension of that goal: short articles on strategy, process, people, and tools. Along with these articles, weve provided sidenotes to help stimulate the discussion between you and your team.

Your job as a servant leader is to find ways to keep moving the organization forward. After 25 years in the software industry, and 10 years working on Rally, Ive come to believe that Agile and lean concepts can do just that. Whether youre new to Agile or already an expert, Im confident that this book will empower you with ideas and knowledge, and inspire you to seize the opportunity for you and your organization.

At Rally we very much value discussion, and Id like to invite you to share your feed-back about the book with us at rallydev.com/agilebook. If youd like to learn more about Rally, please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected]

Here is everything we know about staying on the Expert curve! We hope it brings value and prosperity to your organization.

Ryan Martens, Rally Software CTO & Founder, @RallyOn

Kathy Sierra

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 Rally Software Development Corp. All rights reserved. 4

Authors Preface In 2008, I fell in love with Agile. I was the product manager of a startup in Silicon Val-ley. Like everyone else, we wanted our product out the door faster, cheaper, and better, and Agile seemed like our best bet. It took us six months and quite a bit of struggle, but eventually we looked back and realized wed not only created a product that de-lighted our customer but also a development methodology that delighted our team.

Agility took us from a group that struggled to a team that collaborated. It made such a difference in our output and in our daily lives that I became a believer. I resolved to write a book that would help people like me, with more focus on the business than the technology, understand Agile and apply the principles in theiryourorganization.

Its taken well over three years to get this book into print, and its been a long and complex journey itself. I stopped and started the project several times, and it shifted yet again in 2010 when I joined Rally Software as a coach and consultant and found myself surrounded by an incredible group of people who had insights and stories to share from their own circuitous journeys. I knew the book would be that much stron-ger if I included their voices as well and I have not been disappointed.

Rally coaches have extensive experience in the implementation and deployment of Agile techniques across organizations. Our goal with this book is to share our experi-ence and knowledge in a language that can be easily grasped and put to use whether or not you have Agileor even technologyexperience.

We are releasing this increment of the book at the Agile 2012 conference to help gauge how well weve done in hitting our mark. We hope youll find this book use-ful and, if you see any way it could be improved upon, that youll communicate with us so we can incorporate what we learn into subsequent iterations. Part of Agile is obsessively listening to your customer. We practice what we preach and welcome your feedback at rallydev.com/agilebook.

If youre curious to follow my real-time thoughts on the art of Agile business please visit my blog at bobcanhelp.com. From everyone at Rally, we sincerely hope you enjoy.

Bob Gower, Brooklyn NY, August 4, 2012, [email protected]

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 Rally Software Development Corp. All rights reserved. 5

Table of Contents The Art of Agile Business is a collection of essayssome short and some shorteron the craft of applying Agile to your organization. The book is divided into five sections. See the opening page of each section for a list of the individual pieces weve got planned.

Build the Right ThingAre you building the features that customers really want, or are you wasting your time, energy and creativity?

Build the Thing Right Are bugs eating away at the value of your products?

Manage People Like People Are you creating the kind of workplace that attracts top talent, or is business-as-usual eroding morale?

Agile Steering Are you prepared to move with your market and learn from your mistakesand successes?

Transformation How do you get from where you are now to where you want to be?

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 Rally Software Development Corp. All rights reserved. 6

The Art of Agile BusinessBy Bob Gower

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

Mark Twain

As an Agile coach at Rally, my job is to help our customers change their organizations and achieve their goals. At the beginning of a new relationship, we always start with a con-versation about what those goals are, which almost always are the same: better products, happier people, less waste, more predictability and, of course, a shorter time to market.

I know Agile delivers on all of these, and could easily end the conversation there. But when I let the questioning go a layer deeper into more personal aspirations, I find what people really want is a workplace that worksthey want to actually enjoy their days at work while creating sustained value for their customers and themselves.

So, at Rally, the question we ask on a daily basis is, how do we create companies like this for ourselves and our customers? This is not merely an academic or financial ques-tion. While we want to help create great companies because its good business, we also believe that good business is good global citizenship. The Rally Mission states: At Rally we believe empowered people who actually want to come to work are essential for solv-ing todays big, complex problems. We invite you to join us on this path.

Vicious to VirtuousIf we are to transform our organizations, we need to find a way to turn the vicious cy-cles that derail us into virtuous cycles that effortlessly create value for everyone. While this may sound like a lofty goal, its not unreasonableand may be essential.

The Art of Agile BusinessIncrement v1

2012 Rally Software Development Corp. All rights reserved. 7

When I was a child in Philadelphia in the 70s, there was a lot of worry about the cycle of urban decay. Throughout my years in the professional world, Ive seen similar worry about the kind of decay that destroys an organization. In software organizations, a common vicious cycle looks like this: buggy technology leads to unhappy customers, which leads to unhappy managers who then pressure workers, who become unhappy and disengaged only to produce more buggy software.

If youre reading this book its likely that youre aware of cycles like this in your own or-ganization, and youre looking for a something that will help solve the problem. Sound about right? But the challenge with cycles is that they are not only cyclical and self-reinforcing, they are also complex. Is it poverty that feeds crime or crime that feeds poverty? Is it unhappy employees that make buggy code or buggy code that creates unhappy employees?

If were to tackle these cycles in our lives and businesses, we need to be smart about where and how we intervene. And we must be conscious of the butterfly effect: small changes can have a huge impact for good or ill. The trick is to know where to start and how fast to move.

Agile is a whole-system way of looking at, and acting on, your business. We work on the habits, individual attitudes, and organizational structures that support business as usu-al, and then we interrupt those patterns and build better organizations and products.

Healthy SystemsAgile, because it