Agile enthusiasts rightly praise the agile approach to software development. It puts a high value on humans, it encourages tight client collaboration, delivery of client value, and it makes sure that everyone (client & engineer alike) is working together toward a common goal.
When framed in this way you may wonder why anyone would ever do things differently. Does it shock you to learn that many software delivery organizations do operate differently? Is it even more shocking to learn that many organizations in many industries operate differently? Perhaps most of all, is it shocking to learn that many of the problems in software delivery that agile has helped overcome, had already been overcome generations earlier in other industries in much the same way?
What has been done for software delivery is fantastic. However, now it’s time to look beyond just agile concepts, agile methodologies, and understand how these fit into the bigger picture. This is especially true for any organizations that have a software delivery function but are not strictly software companies.
Does this mean that it’s time for a while new set of agile ideas and methodologies? Not necessarily.
What it does mean, is that we should look first at how organizations operate; see what philosophies and methodologies drive value outside of software delivery and then we can do two things. We can see how agile fulfills (or not) these principles so that we can see where non-software teams may benefit from agile ideas. We can also look at agile from the lense of operations in a generic way to see how it implements the ideas from other industries and what new value it may bring to those arenas.
For us, that means something very specific. We’ll be talking about how agile is a very good implementation of lean in a creative as opposed to manufacturing industry.
This may sound blasphemous to some, but soon you’ll believe and believing is seeing.
At this point I’m going to leave you hanging. Not because the answers aren’t available, but because they are subtle and understanding cannot be hurried. It will take us some time. We will talk about agile, software delivery, Dev-Ops, lean, teams, operations, leadership, humans, and host of other topics. Through these talks we will begin to see the agile in lean.