Friday, January 14, 2011

Sunny with a Chance of Agility

What is your Agile weather report?  Some have sunny Agile efforts ahead. Some are looking to get introduced to agility and others are considering strategies for Agile deployments.  As we gaze in the horizon, what do we think will be hot in the Agile landscape and improve our working lives? What might be some of the latest shifts in the Agile industry in the upcoming year?

The theme of my Agile weather report for 2011 focuses on:
  • Job security with Agile credentials
  • More structure with Agile deployments
  • Agile Tooling goes ALM
Prediction #1:  Job security with Agile credentials
I predict that we will see a significant growth in software engineering jobs that include an Agile element to them.  In general, we are seeing a growth in the use of Agile methodologies and practices in the software industry.   Many of the new positions are now mentioning Agile as one of the job requirements.  The implication is that they are looking for people who have worked within an Agile context so that when they join the new company, they bring Agile experience. 
Prediction #2:  More structure with Agile deployments
As product teams become more mature so do their Agile practices.  While Agile has been utilized in projects for several years now, it is still new to many.  With that in mind, I expect to see more formality in deploying Agile.  This is especially true since Agile is no longer a budding trend but maturing where patterns are emerging that lead to more successful Agile deployments.  While some would like to say, “Let’s just get started doing Agile”, it may be better to consider a methodical or strategic approach to the deployment of Agile.  With that in mind, here are some Agile adoption approaches that may be considered:
Prediction #3: Agile Tooling goes ALM
As we look into 2011 and the future, we will see more focus on providing comprehensive Agile tooling capabilities within an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) framework.  The value of having an ALM framework is that it allows a product team to manage customer needs from business case development to delivery.  When tools support this framework, it can help streamline and reduce the effort in supporting the process.  Some examples of tooling that provides an Agile focus in an ALM context include:
As we look into 2011, conditions could be quite sunny for those companies looking for the Agile edge.  What this may mean to those with Agile credentials is that you will gain job security.  Since Agile is becoming more mature, continues to prove itself, and can scale to larger product teams and their projects, there will be a need to have more consistent approaches to deploying Agile.   There are patterns for success deployments which new teams can take advantage of.  And as Agile tooling makes its way into more of an Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) framework, it can provide a more end-to-end view of how business and user needs make their way to delivery.  Whether your forecast is sunny or cloudy (or a little bit of both), consider agility in driving your business!  Have a productive 2011!

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