A Glimpse into the Future of Agile Software Development
The agile-hype cycle is still continuing in many organizations. Although eXtreme Programming (XP), the dynamic systems development method, crystal, feature-driven development, and Scrum have all played a big role in changing the world, it seems that so far only XP and Scrum have stood the test of time.
The “State of Agile Development” survey by VersionOne is clearly telling us something we shouldn’t ignore. People have started customizing their agile processes by picking and choosing best practices from different methods, creating what Rachel Davies calls “agile blending.”
The survey also indicates that the agile world is following the ShuHaRi concept, as explained by Alistair Cockburn in the following video.
It’s typical that teams usually initiate projects using the textbook version of Scrum. As they gain experience, teams may try different practices as well as invent new processes customized to their environment, which follows the Shuhari way.
With all the new experiments happening in agile, the latest buzzwords now include lean startup, kanban, DevOps, and continuous delivery. Interestingly, the IT industry is now opening its eyes to the age-old industrial practices borrowed from the Toyota production system (TPS), the 3M company, and others.
At the same time, non-IT industries, like healthcare and finance, have started embracing agile concepts faster than others. The classic example is from the people that created innovative care models in hospitals where there are self-organizing teams.
Despite these several new agile ideas, the world still needs to fill in several gaps. There are not enough tools to do continuous integration and test-driven development for applications built on technologies like mainframes, Siebel, and SAP.
Additionally, agile practices are being applied in a siloed fashion to IT departments without involving the business, marketing, finance, and human resources departments. This results in a defect-free product that does not generate revenue.
The developers during the waterfall era never imagined that agile practices would be discovered and become so popular. By the same token, we can deduce that a new wave of agile methods will emerge, and they will be based on the fundamentals invented ages ago from non-IT industries. They will be simple to understand (like Scrum), but they will fill in the missing gaps in our industry.
What do you think will be the foundations of future agile innovations?