We would like to address the concepts of Aligning Business with IT. Do you think that Agile and Scrum are just for Information Technology or “I.T.”? Agile approaches are actually about doing work differently. Many adopting Agile or Scrum do not understand that these approaches are all about Business people and I.T. working together regardless of traditional roles. Angela Johnson, Certified Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach shares perspectives on the perpetuating myth that Agile or Scrum is just “for I.T.”.
Why do we all chuckle when we view the 1970’s tree swing cartoon showing what happens to the customer’s request as a result of little interaction with who built it?
We chuckle because it’s reality. It’s 2015 and many of these same, poor business results continue to occur.
Agile approaches such as Scrum are all about delivering business value faster. Business value. Not technology stuff that someone thought was cool that realizes us no business value.
We have only to look to the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/) to learn what the people who created “Agile” ways of doing work had in mind.
Principle #1: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. If the customer does not value what is delivered and is not going to use the end product why are we working on it?
Principle #4: Business people and developers must work together daily. This would certainly give us lots of opportunity to validate the true need and avoid any “lost in translation” scenarios.
Principle #10: Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done. If a tire swing will simply satisfy the customer’s need, let’s deliver a tire swing and not some more elaborate solution.
Principles #11: The best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. Getting people together to discuss, to brainstorm, and to perform real-time gap analysis gives opportunity to prevent poor solutions.
If our business partners have become conditioned to simply throw requirements “over the wall” to I.T. only to later be disappointed in what’s delivered, it’s time to teach them the alternative that Agile and Scrum approaches offer and talk to them.
Those first conversations may need some help which is why the Scrum Master role is so valuable if the Agile approach being chosen is Scrum. A trained Scrum Master can get the conversation started by getting people together, facilitate when and where necessary and ensure that the conversations continue once the ice is broken.
Want to learn more about how a Scrum Master can enable alignment between business and I.T.?
Join us for our next Certified ScrumMaster® course: Click here to view our upcoming classes and register for our next CSM or CSPO course.