Reflections on Agile Approaches for Delivering Business Value #

I’ve spent the last two days Agile Approaches for Delivering Business Value, and feel I’ve learnt a lot. Here are my initial reflections on the conference.

Firstly, there are a lot of very smart people thinking about these issues – it was thoroughly enjoyable to have to take on so many ideas in such a period of time.

The second thing that stood out was that most of the people at the conference were involved with the development / supplier side of the IT equation. Hardly surprising, but it does mean that some of what was covered was of particular relevance for the “supply side”. However pretty much every topic had things which can be of use from the customer perspective.

Thirdly, a number of people are applying thought to the problems in getting the benefits of Agile in multi-party environments, and how to support the process with appropriate contracts.

It’s in everyone’s interest that there should be consensus on how to reliably deliver software projects, and how to assess the risk of such delivery (and I don’t mean CMMI) – if we can get to that, then there is more opportunity to deploy financial engineering (e.g. Graham Oake’s idea of completion bonds) to facilitate business improvements through software.

There are clear lessons about the importance of getting a common view of risk between project participants.

DSDM/Atern doesn’t seem to have much visibility yet outside the IT world, but looks worthy of further investigation.

Last but not least, Agile is not just for software (nice to see other people have spotted this to!).

Topics for Further Research and/or reflection

Agile Contracts, and the work of Cem Kaner

DSDM/Atern

How could we use a Acceptance-Test-Driven approach from the customer side?

I need to reflect on, document and develop the work we have been doing on using agile approaches for such things as business analysis / programme shaping etc.

Finally, thanks for thought-provoking conversations to Rachel Davies, Graham Oakes and Antony Marcano.

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Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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