Making Agile a Reality for All

I recently saw a Tweet (Twitter message for those of you that don’t know) from Michele Sliger about an interesting premise of using 6 words to describe your life.  I decided to try it for Agile For All, and the title of this blog entry is what I came up with.  Short, sweet and to the point!  This turned out to be important to me.  Let me try to explain why…

This really is what I believe my company was created to do for a few reasons:

  1. It is time for the world of product development to change in order to better meet the needs of customers.  The software industry today wastes untold billions of dollars by not meeting customer expections.
  2. It is time for all projects to be agile.  It has been proven agile scales.  It has been proven the result is better than a traditional approach.  It has been proven to increase productivity, quality and stakeholder satisfaction.  Time to accept reality and get with the program!  The only thing stopping more use of agile is people don’t understand how to create agile contracts which protect both the customer and the vendor.  It is possible, just not easy.
  3. The size of the economic stimulus which would result from agile software development is staggering.  Consumers would purchase more software titles because the software would be better.  Companies would upgrade more often because the new feature set would be compelling more often.  Programmers would once again be in high demand as companies spent the money to create even more products.  Companies would be more profitable because they could deliver software faster to customers and the maintenance costs would be reduced.
  4. The concept of customer support would return.  Rather than trying to get you off the phone as quickly as possible regardless of resolution, companies could incent their employees based on solve rate, rather than solve time.  This would increase support costs slightly, but it is necessary because fewer problems to start with would generate fewer calls, which means those that do come in are probably more difficult to diagnose.  Fixing them would be a big win for everyone!
  5. The tide would turn against hackers.  Today hackers win because software is so lousy.  High quality software means it has been sufficiently tested and meets quality standards for release rather than time running out because the release date was reached.  Hackers would have to work much harder to break the software.  Wouldn’t that be a nice world?  And yes, I do recognize that “social hacking” and “phishing” are bigger threats, but having software of higher quality significantly reduces one of the points of entry for hackers.
  6. Trust would slowly return.  Today consumers and companies that purchase software don’t trust the manufacturers.  Why?  Because they don’t deliver high value software.  They don’t deliver with high quality.  And they don’t do it quickly.  At least most don’t do those three things.  Those that do are phenomenally successful.  Let’s make more companies successful by doing the same thing.  Oh yeah, by the way, those three things form my definition of agile.

OK, maybe I’m stretching things a bit, but maybe, just maybe, all of this could really occur.  Today we have companies going bankrupt for a variety of reasons.  The world economy is a wreck.  If waste could be eliminated and money saved just by using an agile process for software development, wouldn’t that be a victory?  Software drives everything these days.  Maybe improving it could improve more than just the overall software industry.

Look at the 6 words in the title.  Can you explain your company’s purpose in 6 words or less?  If so, let me know in the comments section (nothing crude or dirty please since I’ll just have to moderate it away).

Until next time I’m going to be Making Agile a Reality for my clients while trying to expand my list of clients because, well, because that’s what my company is meant to do.

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