How IBM saved $300 million by going agile
Behind the scenes on IBM’s agile transformation
Look, ma! The elephant’s dancing even faster!**
How does one of the world’s largest software organizations become more nimble and more responsive to the marketplace? You may have read, or heard, any number of our experts and thought leaders – Scott Ambler, Bruce Douglass, Walker Royce, for example – sing the praises of agile development and delivery methods. The IBM Rational team firmly believes that, no matter how large your software development shop has grown, you can benefit from agile adop
But could agile techniques work for a “shop” the size of IBM Software Group? And should this enormous organization, which we call “SWG,” even attempt an agile transformation? After all, we’ve seen steady growth over the past decade. SWG must be doing something right. Right? Well….
Agile methods can help you too
The fact is, moving to agile methods will help any organization outperform its former measures of productivity and profits. Several years ago, Software Group began adapting agile software development practices and related products to their needs. Their agile tool environment included IBM Rational Team Concert for collaboration, IBM Rational Asset Manager to assist with component reuse, and IBM Lotus Connections for team meetings and messaging, often on an international scale.
Show me the numbers
The result? SWG estimates it has saved more than $300 million, resulting in a 15 percent improvement in our reve
The transformation is not limited to Software Group. Across IBM, developers are adopting agile practices to improve their processes and product quality.
A cool new video about IBM Software Group’s agile transformation, features Julie King, IBM’s recently retired vice president of consumability, explaining SWG’s move to agile methods.
“We were previously using configuration management version control, which required a lengthy code check-in process,” said Clark Dudek, software developer, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “Rational Team Concert has encouraged greater code collaboration and better work item tracking within my team.”
**Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance” is the title of former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner’s book on IBM’s dramatic transformation in the 1990s. Sure, everyone used to think of IBM as the “elephant” (large and powerful, but also sluggish and slow) of the computing industry. But as software gained a larger share of IBM’s focus, the business became much more agile, capable of growing along with the expanding ecosystems of the Internet and worldwide commerce. I think the SWG move to agile methods makes a nice addendum to that ongoing success story!
VP of Marketing, IBM Rational