Agile software development is designed to thrive within even the most dynamic business and technical environments. In fact, according to an article on the Web site of Martin Fowler, a well-known Agile industry leader, the name “Agile” was chosen because its founders viewed “adaptiveness and response to change” as the most essential concept of the methodology.
Authors : Dr. Myles Bogner and David Elfanbaum, Asynchrony Solutions
Figure 1. The Domains of Agile Methodology and Enterprise Change Management
All Agile methodologies include integrated practices and processes that manage evolving requirements to efficiently develop a continuous stream of new software capabilities. However, what Agile does not address are changes related to enterprise support of the Agile process or tasks that fall outside the scope of the project work, including:
* how to effectively manage an organization’s internal personnel so that the appropriate stakeholders are available throughout the course of a project
* how to gather and prioritize the most important features desired by the organization throughout the ongoing development cycle
* how to adjust the notion of needing training in a continuous release environment
* how to ensure customer team members are informed by the full breadth of stakeholders required for enterprise acceptance
* how to secure timely approval of new technologies that a team would like to leverage
* how to address stakeholder discomfort with cultural, business, social or other non-technical changes related to software implementation
Each of these challenges is compounded when organizations operate multiple Agile projects simultaneously. Such unaddressed issues can cause IT projects to ultimately fail, even if executed perfectly within the scope of the development teams and meeting all project acceptance tests. On his blog, Jim Markowsky, an expert in change management, noted that the vast majority of large-scale IT initiative failures are actually caused by factors other than technology.
Enterprise Change Management (ECM) provides a framework that addresses many of these missing factors. This article focuses on how organizations can leverage ECM practices in conjunction with their Agile development teams to foster IT delivery adoption.