You’ll Only Create Bottlenecks if You Become Too Agile
We’re approaching a point where it seems silly to call agile some fly-by-night fad destined to vanish just as quickly it appeared. According to a survey conducted by Tech Pro Research, 60 percent of organizations feel that an agile IT framework would be beneficial to workflow, indicating that the switch from long-term to short-term efforts is needed.
However, only 47 percent of companies indicated that they are currently focusing on agile IT instead of longer-term projects. Beyond IT, organizations are also dedicating resources to making the agile transition for some teams while keeping others from making too many grandiose changes.
Why? Well, if you ask the CIO of Shop Direct, Andy Wolfe, if your goal is to do everything agile—from testing to development for each of your projects—bottlenecks will begin to rear their ugly heads. Not every aspect of the business lends itself to an agile structure, so it’s important to evaluate each situation in order to determine the method that suits it best.
"If you have too few product owners within the business then you actually start to create bottlenecks; if you try to do everything agile, you will create bottlenecks because you haven't got the business resource available to you to help you deliver that change," Wolfe told Computing.
He went on to emphasize that there are absolutely areas where Shop Direct has seen significant benefits thanks to agile, such as in their front-end and commerce app. It succeeds at streamlining how change is deployed, as well as how that change is delivered, but to shoehorn it into different areas that just don’t call for the methodology only slows things down.
What’s also important to note is that a team’s maturation—and not just its size or the number of tasks it’s responsible for—plays a huge role in whether agile is the right choice. This is an idea that Zephyr founder and CEO Samir Shah strongly preaches.
"The size of the company is not as important a driver as the actual maturation of the testing organization. More mature process-driven orgs, be that small companies or large ones, immaterial … They can be more successful as they know how to build on any processes, like agile,” Shah told AgileConnection. “... Size doesn't matter as much as the maturity of the organization, and their ability to adopt and accept some of the newer ways of doing things.”
If a team understands how agile works, has the right people, and is ready to dedicate energy to short-term efforts, agile should be instituted. Just make sure that you’re avoiding bottlenecks and not bringing agile in just because it seems like the popular thing to do.