Below please see the slides from the presentation I gave today at the Outsell Signature Event at the lovely Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay, California. I’m passionate about agile development because I’ve simply seen too many waterfall train wrecks that either kill companies (e.g., Ingres) or nearly kill them (e.g., Business Objects).
In many cases, those software development messes actually obscure underlying deeper problems. For example, at Ingres, I’d argue the root cause problem was a lack of competitive strategy for dealing with the fact that the company had been “lapped” by Oracle, resulting in a ridiculously long requirements list. But, I’d further argue that a realistic agile process would have made evident that the list could not be accomplished and may have forced the company to more quickly deal with the ugly reality that it faced.
One key point that’s not on the slides is that while most publishers will say “yes” to a survey asking if they are using agile methodologies, my anecdotal data suggests that those same companies’ IT leadership don’t see things the same way. For example, at the panel session on agility hosted by Marc Strohlein at last Spring’s Mark Logic user conference, one of the top audience questions was, in effect, how can I do agile at a company that isn’t?
Perhaps someone (e.g., Outsell?) needs to do some gap analysis between the business and IT sides of the publishing industry on this issue.