Not Your Dad’s Agile – Delivering Business Value

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This is a guest blog post from Alex Adamopoulos, CEO of emergn

Since the signing of the Agile Manifesto in 2001, Agile as a software development methodology has entered the mainstream and is not only used in several of the world's leading companies, but is being applied in areas beyond software development. While Agile today is still very much about teams getting better at building software, it’s also becoming more about moving the rest of the business forward.

The next phase of Agile, the Agile of tomorrow, will focus on delivering business value across a larger landscape including portfolio management, procurement and business strategy.  As a result, agile is in the process of moving from development practices to top level business outcomes. These thoughts and more come as a result of a recent Forrester Research report issued earlier this month.

Agile, first created to deliver software projects faster, but also with an emphasis on more value¸ is now in its second stage of Agile history. As Agile stands today, the development team and other groups within an organization are working together.  Lean Thinking, continuous delivery and improvements to user experience all figure prominently in this phase. Alex Adamopoulos, agile expert and CEO of emergn, an international agile consultancy helping Fortune 500 companies such as Maersk, British Airways and others believes that there are two concurrent states of Agile today. There is the traditional state where most companies are looking at agile as the new software development approach and making statements like ‘we need to go agile’ and the other state is where companies are applying agile to areas within the organization such as, portfolio management, PMO, VMO, contracting, etc.

The third stage of Agile, the future of it, will build on the existing improvements and involve a third set of practices designed to increase the amount of measurable value emerging from the value stream. New ways to deal with DevOps and real continuous feedback are examples of these practices. To maximize their investment in Agile, those jumping on the Agile bandwagon today need to be aware of this trajectory and be ready to adopt these new practices.

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