10 Tips for Adopting Agile in the Enterprise

A few months back I wrote about the challenges facing agile adoption in the enterprise. I got a lot of requests to outline some tips to overcome some of these challenges, which I have addressed in a follow-up post on AgileScout. The key points are:

  1. Get management buy-in.
  2. Plan for entire releases, not just one sprint.
  3. Plan sprints with specialized/shared resources in mind.
  4. Complex inter-dependencies are a reality – deal with it!
  5. Keep reasonable sprint lengths – at 3 or 4 weeks.
  6. Don’t expect all sprint deliverables to be production ready.
  7. Define “done” consistently across the teams.
  8. Reserve at least two “hardening” sprints.
  9. Be pragmatic about usable design documentation.
  10. Adopt continuous integration principles.
Agile Development Methodology

Agile Development Methodology

Read the entire article here.

UPDATE: To clarify, the tips above specifically address the challenges put forth in the earlier post around enterprise application integration projects. For other enterprise projects, vanilla Scrum approach may work fine.


3 Reasons Agile Faces Challenges in the Enterprise

AgileScout invited me to write a guest post on the use of Agile in the enterprise. Having worked and being involved in multiple projects of varying complexities, I found adopting Agile (specifically Scrum) was challenging in many ways for all but the simplest projects. Most challenges could be overcome by modifying the methodology or adopting alternatives such as Kanban or “Scrum-ban“, but this is a practice that usually raises eyebrows in the Scrum community.

There are three areas that are challenging for Agile in the enterprise:

1. Complex inter-dependencies between projects – a reality in any enterprise

2. Handling of Specialized and Global Project Resources such as expert architects in geographically distributed teams

3. Sprint Overhead caused by complex project tasks such as initial architecture design, that would typically not fit in any reasonable sprint duration.

Read the entire article here.

UPDATE 05/04/2011: Followup post on tips for adopting agile in the enterprise. Full article on AgileScout.