Agility at Scale: Economic Governance, Measured Improvement and Disciplined Delivery
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Last year, Alan Brown, Scott Ambler and I collaborated on a technical paper that captures IBM Rational's experience in achieving agility in large scale enterprises. This paper was recently accepted for publication at the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). We will present and officially publish this paper in May 2013 in the proceedings. Below is an abstract. The full (draft) version can be accessed here. We are still editing and finalizing for publication but it is close to camera ready.
Abstract: Agility without discipline cannot scale, and discipline without agility cannot compete. Agile methods are now mainstream. Software enterprises are adopting these practices in broad, comprehensive delivery contexts. There have been many successes, and there have been disappointments. IBM’s framework for achieving agility at scale is based on hundreds of successful deployments and dozens of disappointing experiences in accelerating software delivery cycles within large-scale organizations. Our collective know-how points to three key principles to deliver measured improvements in agility with high confidence:
1. Steer using economic governance
2. Measure incremental improvements honestly
3. Empower teams with disciplined agile deliveryThis paper elaborates these three principles and presents practical recommendations for achieving improved agility in large-scale software delivery enterprises.