Getting senior management interested in Agile Development
mbakal 2700018HB6 Visits (1989)
Recently, I have seen a lot of discussion about how to educate senior management about Agile development. An example is a talk I recently attended by Jason Tanner focused on Teaching Agile/Scrum to management. The talk itself was very interesting and useful.
My only issue with the whole discussion was in many cases in order to get a company to adopt Agile company-wide you need to first explain the business benefits to senior management. This is a classic chicken and egg problem. You need to quickly relate Agile to a topic they feel comfortable with. I do this by mapping the 4 key Agile principles from the Agile Manifesto to Lean Manufacturing. This is because most senior management I talk to come from an engi
From there, I focus on some of the differences like the fact that development is creative and happens in spurts, agile refers to these spurts as “sprints”.
The next questions management asks are: How can we get the data we need to run our business and how can we help development achieve their goals? My short answer is all of the data is available from the agile standup meetings but needs to be made more concise, i.e. less detailed work items. Then the views need to be adjusted based on the level of management.
Another issue is almost no companies are completely co-located so tools can really help to distribute this information. Here is an example of an actual rollup from an IBM development team using IBM RTC (Rational Team Concert).
In summary, focus on explaining why Agile development helps the whole business and how senior management can get the data it needs to run the overall business. This can lead to broader Agile development company-wide.