Mistake No. 3: Ignoring Other Areas of the Business

By Ian Culling  |  Posted 2010-07-08 Print this article Print

Mistake No. 3: Ignoring other areas of the business

A mistake many organizations make when scaling is to focus all of their efforts on their technology teams. Yes, agile is a software development methodology, but successful scaling of agile methodologies is also generally accompanied by a shift in corporate culture and infrastructure for the entire company.

A manager's focus shifts from allocating human resources to the right task for the appropriate amount of time to ensure that teams are cohesive and collaborative. Similarly, cross-departmental coordination will likely need to be extended and optimized to facilitate more robust communication and ongoing collaboration.

Managers need to pay close attention to the cultural changes that are part of moving to agile software development and allow time for them to become the new standard. This is a shift that will need to happen not just on agile teams but across teams, departments and even in the executive offices. Before long, the changes it brings will affect multiple areas of the business. Be prepared to both facilitate and allow the time necessary for it to infiltrate every level of the organization.

Ian Culling is CTO at VersionOne. Ian brings more than 20 years of broad IT experience to the CTO role. Ian lends tremendous expertise to his areas of responsibility, including software product management, design and development, and enterprise IT. Ian has significant practical experience with the introduction, scaling and adaptive execution of agile methods, having initially implemented strict XP with a single team in 2000. Since that time, Ian has progressed to lead and coach both small and large organizations in their transition to agile methods. Prior to joining VersionOne, Ian led the adoption of agile methods at Alogent Corporation as vice president of development, leveraging aspects of Scrum for scaling across multiple teams and products. This, combined with select XP developer practices and approach for planning and tracking, resulted in a Scrum-wrapped XP implementation (now a fairly common model within the agile community today). He can be reached at ian.culling@versionone.com.

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