How to mandate agility in software development, operations, and data science

How to mandate agility in software development, operations, and data science

Agility is achieved only through a collaboration between leaders and contributors. Agile teams must operate with self-organizing principles and standards. They must balance delivering improvements required by the business with the work required to address the data, operational, and technical debt.

Even when leaders proclaim in their townhalls that your organization needs to be more agile and nimble, they can’t mandate it. Your CIO and IT leaders may standardize on practices, metrics, and responsibilities that they describe as agile methodology standards, but they can’t dictate that everyone adopts agile cultures and mindsets .

You can select agile tools, automate more with devops practices, and enable citizen data science programs, but you can’t force adoption and demand employee happiness. IT operations may operate a hybrid multicloud architecture, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that costs are optimized or that infrastructure can scale up and down auto-magically.

So, if you were looking to quickly standardize your agile processes, or to miraculously address technical debt by shifting to agile architectures, or to instantly transform into an agile way of working, then I am sorry to disappoint you. Agility doesn’t come free, cheap, or easily. You can’t manage it on a Gantt chart with fixed timelines.

Also on InfoWorld: 15 signs you’re doing agile wrong ]

And while I believe that agility is largely a bottom-up transformation, that doesn’t mean that developers, engineers, testers, scrum masters, and other IT team members can drive agility independently. The team must work collaboratively, acknowledge tradeoffs, and define agile operating principles where there is consensus on the benefits.

So if agility can’t be mandated and requires everyone’s contributions, how do organizations become more agile? In the spirit of agile methodologiesdata-driven practices, and adopting a devops culture, here are some ways everyone in the IT organization can drive agility collaboratively.


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