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When Agile Isn't Agile: Part 1 — Optimizing Popular Agile Practices

When Agile Isn't Agile: Part 1 — Optimizing Popular Agile Practices

This IDC study, written for CIOs and other technology managers seeking to transform their software development organizations, looks at 10 popular agile practices that have been adopted by most IT organizations and identifies common cultural mindsets based on plan-based paradigms for software development that prevent those practices from resulting in the desired agility. It compares those approaches with approaches based on empiricism that do lead to agility. This study explores what each agile practice is intended to achieve and how it achieves it, identifies common mistakes in implementing the practice, and illustrates what can be done to achieve success by characterizing the way the practice is implemented by organizations that have achieved agility. The study shows how IT organizations can assess their agile practices by comparing them with these examples and making subtle changes that will lead to agility."IT leaders who believe their organizations to be agile because they have adopted agile practices must critically review those adoptions to ensure that they are achieving the desired agility," says Susan Martin, adjunct analyst with IDC's Research Network. "If the practices have been adopted but the old predict-and-plan mindset has not been transformed, the organizations may not have achieved agility at all. Some subtle but important changes in approach may be needed to move from 'doing agile' to 'being agile.'"

Please Note: Extended description available upon request.

IDC Opinion
In This Study
Situation Overview
Agile Practice 1: Frequent Deployments
Agile Practice 2: Daily Stand-Up Meetings
Agile Practice 3: Scrum Master
Agile Practice 4: Product Owner
Agile Practice 5: Self-Organizing Teams
Agile Practice 6: Story-Based Requirements
Agile Practice 7: Product Backlog
Agile Practice 8: Sprint or Release Reviews
Agile Practice 9: Sprint Retrospective
Agile Practice 10: Burn Down Chart or Other Progress Measures
Future Outlook
Essential Guidance
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Related Research
IT Executive Program Research Agenda

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