Doing Agile without Agility?
After talking with different people, I have been reflecting about the situation where many companies seems to adopt agile techniques to be able to deliver faster and with higher quality (more gas for the same buck), but it seems like they are not driving more agility into the organization or into the products. They are not able to rapidly respond to the many emerging opportunities. It seems like the balance is more on delivering the expected and planned requirements rather than regular inspection of each completed Increment, collaboration with customers and be able to rapidly make changes and optimize business value.
Program Managers or Product Owners should do more than just deliver the approved project or approved requirements. Maximizing the business value and optimizing TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), are areas that to often are not done in most organizations. Recently I have talked with different business people who think a best practice is to have a Product Owner for a team doing support and hotfixes and another Product Owner for another team working on the new release for the same product (often called a new project). They had not considered the whole value stream of activities and how they were combined. Having a Product Owner responsible for the product, TCO and full value stream, seems like an alien thought in many larger organizations.
We need to change the sub optimizing thinking to enable Agility in organizations and move beyond the predictability mindset.
Frankly speaking, it did not expect Microsoft and TFS releases adopting agility and starting a journey on continuous delivery. I heard about MSFT people that talked about the radical change from previously doing development in 1 year followed by stabilization in 1 year to now be able to release every 3rd week to TFS as a Service on TFSpreview.com. I look forward to follow how this will evolve in the future including the pricing model and integration with Azure.
Imagine the new opportunities for many Enterprise system, if they move into a regular deployment of functional based releases to a hosted solution, and also be able to deliver their product as a service to customers. This could help them respond rapidly to customer feedback and opportunities and deliver much higher business value.