“Agile’s still all the rage, and why not? Anytime anyone can simultaneously attack an ineffective/slow/expensive process and replace it with a better/faster/cheaper one, there is happiness all around” [1]. Despite the buzz and excitement that this quote suggests, the software development landscape is littered with Agile efforts that have failed. Why? Is it due to bad approaches, lack of genuine commitment, wrong expectations, all of the above?

All too often, the reason Agile efforts fail is because they attempt to apply a “one size fits all” approach to a whole company instead of tailoring the specific Agile implementation to fit the contexts of individual teams. In this presentation, we will show how, even within the same organization, the implementation of Agile could and should differ based on a number of factors — such as business demands, team dynamics, performance metrics, and organizational commitment — that dictate how/if Agile should be used to attain a “right size” approach rather than forcing a rigid “one size fits all” approach.

This presentation highlights the ongoing transformation of Yellow Pages Group (YPG) from a Print Publishing company to a Digital Publishing company. Specifically, the presentation focuses on its gradual roll-out strategy, which started with a pilot of “by the book” Agile in the RedFlagDeals group. Each successive deployment was assessed, and the roll-out strategy was modified before being applied to the next group. In this way, YPG is continuously evolving its own “right size” of Agile as each team is ready.

This talk will provide the blueprint for determining and applying that right size of agile in the attendees’ own organizations. The blueprint will show that sometimes the road to Agile may need to stop in Incremental and Iterative Development (IID) due to business and team realities. Following the blueprint will give participants the opportunity to replicate our success, refine our strategy and contribute valuable reference data to the community.

[1] Cutter Fellow Steve Andriole.

Additional Resources

About the Speaker(s)

Dr. Israel Gat is an independent software & IT consultant. He is recognized as the architect of the Agile transformation at BMC Software where, under his leadership, Scrum users increased from zero to 1,000, resulting in nearly three times faster time to market than industry average and 20%-50% improvement in team productivity. Among other accolades for leading this transition, Dr. Gat was presented with an Innovator of the Year Award from Application Development Trends in 2006. Dr. Gat's executive career spans top technology companies, including IBM, Microsoft, Digital, and EMC. He has led the development of products such as BMC Performance Manager and Microsoft Operations Manager, enabling the two companies to move toward next-generation system/service management technology. Dr. Gat is also well versed in growing smaller companies. In particular, he carries out technical due diligence on startups for various venture capitalists as the 'last mile' before their final decision to invest.

Maurizio Mancini is a leader in the quality and process industries with a sixth sense for Agile, quality, and business process. He is best known for cutting through the noise and getting to the heart of any organizational problem whether that problem consists of choosing the right software development process, implementing modern quality approaches, or just finding the right balance between people, process and tools. Maurizio has been building teams for more than 20 years and is known for building highly effective and dedicated teams. Maurizio’s approach consists of empowering people and teams so that the team's talent and creativity comes through naturally. This mindset favors the adoption of Agile values in any environment.