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.
Strategy & Leadership – Emerald Publishing
Published: Mar 11, 2014
Keywords: Product development; Continuous innovation; Scrum; Agile software development; IBM Design Lab
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