April 26th, 2011
By Angela Slezak
On May 26th, the Central Ohio Agile Alliance (COHAA) is hosting its 2nd Annual Path to Agility at the Arena Grand Theater downtown in Columbus - immediately followed by IT Martini Hour 17: Swing With Agility. An astounding collection of regional and national Agile thought leaders are participating in the conference, including keynote speaker Ken Schwaber, founder of the Agile & Scrum Alliance.
Agile has its roots as a practice, where software is developed in short, iterative stages and deployed to the customer during development. Early deployment allows precious user feedback to help meet the updated user needs.
This is in opposition is the “waterfall” method, where documentation and requirements are built up front with the potential for adding years to a software release. During that time, the users & business might have changed radically, making the requirements obsolete right out of the door.
You Might Be An Agilist If . . .
1) You enjoy a collaborative work environment.
2) You believe feedback on a project while it’s unfolding prevents failure at the end.
3) You love to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.
4) You want to be on a self-directed team constantly responding to business challenges.
5) You want to get your product on the market while the market it is still hot.
"Agile practices now apply to much more than software development", says Bart Murphy, COHAA Board Member and passionate advocate of Agile.
"Agile practices", he explains, "have spanned to engineering, marketing and sales, anything that provides a framework for project development. At its highest level, Agile is about communication, collaboration and transparency. It's the connective tissue between IT departments and the business units."
Agile practices can also address some common complaints about IT departments. Murphy elaborates, "Agile allows less time on running, and more time on innovation. And the more innovation provided by IT, the more IT becomes a business partner and not a cost center."
Murphy suggests that leadership is another benefit of Agile practices, pointing to the changing nature of leadership and team roles. "Leadership changes from a 'command and control' to 'servant-leadership', which transforms the team from order-takers who are stuck with plan that is unattainable to a self-motivated team that comes up with solutions."
Early bird registration is open until Friday, April 29th for the 2nd Annual Path to Agility Conference, which explores Agile practices in leadership, organizational structure, engineering and software. Conference attendees are automatically registered for IT Martini Hour 17: Swing With Agility, taking place immediately afterward at Park Street Cantina.