Agile at IBM: software developers teach a new dance step to management

Agile at IBM: software developers teach a new dance step to management Purpose – Explains how companies that are seeking to implement rapid innovation can adopt the Agile software development approach. In Agile, self‐organizing teams work in short cycles called “sprints” and develop the features to enable the product to continuously evolve in the light of the experience they gain and through customer feedback. Design/methodology/approach – For insight into how Agile is being implemented at a leading software services firm with clients in hundreds of industries, Strategy & Leadership asked Rob Purdie, Agile Practice Lead for the IBM Design Lab, how Agile software development methods were contributing to the success of IBM's key digital marketing initiatives. Findings – The traditional approach to software development is to define, design, develop and test everything – before delivering anything. With Agile, managers can reduce waste by prioritizing features based on relative business value, evaluating and re‐designing as the project proceeds. Practical implications – Agile requires leaders and teams to work and learn through problems, designs and options in an open and transparent environment. It places new demands on technical leaders in terms of negotiation and planning skills. Originality/value – Managers outside the software industry should note that Agile/Scrum is likely to be increasingly essential to the future of product development and manufacturing. Nowadays many products for consumers and businesses include embedded software systems, so developing products in the future will require deeper collaboration across multiple engineering disciplines and marketing teams and familiarity with the Agile approach. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Strategy & Leadership Emerald Publishing

Agile at IBM: software developers teach a new dance step to management

Strategy & Leadership, Volume 42 (2): 4 – Mar 11, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1087-8572
DOI
10.1108/SL-01-2014-0003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Explains how companies that are seeking to implement rapid innovation can adopt the Agile software development approach. In Agile, self‐organizing teams work in short cycles called “sprints” and develop the features to enable the product to continuously evolve in the light of the experience they gain and through customer feedback. Design/methodology/approach – For insight into how Agile is being implemented at a leading software services firm with clients in hundreds of industries, Strategy & Leadership asked Rob Purdie, Agile Practice Lead for the IBM Design Lab, how Agile software development methods were contributing to the success of IBM's key digital marketing initiatives. Findings – The traditional approach to software development is to define, design, develop and test everything – before delivering anything. With Agile, managers can reduce waste by prioritizing features based on relative business value, evaluating and re‐designing as the project proceeds. Practical implications – Agile requires leaders and teams to work and learn through problems, designs and options in an open and transparent environment. It places new demands on technical leaders in terms of negotiation and planning skills. Originality/value – Managers outside the software industry should note that Agile/Scrum is likely to be increasingly essential to the future of product development and manufacturing. Nowadays many products for consumers and businesses include embedded software systems, so developing products in the future will require deeper collaboration across multiple engineering disciplines and marketing teams and familiarity with the Agile approach.

Journal

Strategy & LeadershipEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 11, 2014

Keywords: Product development; Continuous innovation; Scrum; Agile software development; IBM Design Lab

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