CIO’s Playbook for Adopting the Scrum Method of Achieving Software Agility
with Dean Leffingwell and Hubert Smits
The pressures of a truly global economy cause today’s business to increasingly rely on their ability to produce software as a key competitive advantage. Whether it’s software for managing manufacturing and customer delivery processes or software improving the efficiency of day to day activities, software touches virtually every facet of today’s business.
And yet, many CIOs find their software development practices remain little changed from the 1980s. Reliance on prescriptive, plan-based, waterfall-like methods is common despite mountains of evidence that these practices often fail to deliver real value in a timely fashion, and so hamper the company’s responsiveness to fast-changing customer requirements and market conditions. And it’s not getting easier.
Today’s IT organizations must also effectively coordinate globally distributed software development teams while re-factoring legacy applications into more flexible, service oriented architectures. Clearly, we need a new approach for managing and developing software to remain competitive. To address these challenges, a number of more agile and adaptive software development techniques are being adopted which allow organizations to more quickly deliver high value software. Scrum is one such proven method that has been widely adopted by many software organizations. This whitepaper describes how a CIO or other executive can implement Scrum on an organization-wide basis, including scaling across larger applications and teams of teams – the challenges he or she will face as well as the rewards – and provides a playbook for adopting Scrum in enterprises where software, and lots of it, is the key to competitive success in the marketplace.
This is a playbook of ideas about implementing Scrum within an enterprise. It’s a playbook rather than a manual because each organization is unique. Scrum’s implementation in one enterprise will be different from its implementation in another. The types of impediments, things that need changing, the difficulty of change, and the people who will be doing the changing are different, so the timetables, the priorities, and the effort will be different as well.
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