Recently, a number of Cutter Consortium IT consultants were asked to give predictions on upcoming trends for 2010 and beyond. Most of what they say about knowledge workers and their methods of collaboration are quite positive . In this post I have attempted to summarize what they said about collaborative software development methods.
Lots of mostly-positive things said about 2010! It will be fascinating to track these predictions. Of special interest to me is the adoption of Kanban in the enterprise given that Scrum (the most popular of the agile methods) has met with mixed results. In organizations that have not succeeded with Scrum, the managers do not want to go back to waterfall (although surprisingly many have) but are discouraged by the Scrum community to modify Scrum in any way (“don’t be a ScrumButt” is the popular phrase). Kanban brings a viable alternative with its roots firmly planted in the Lean community. It will be interesting to see how widely it is adopted over this year.
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Agile management consultant and coach
(for the entire list click here)
Sanjiv Augustine, a senior consultant, believes that:
- Teams and organizations that have been practicing Scrum for 3 years or more will extend to hybrids like ScrumBan, Scrum/XP and even ScrumFall (if they lose executive sponsorship and are forced to backslide towards Waterfall). Kanban will continue to gain in momentum and mindshare.
- More small to medium-sized companies will initiate enterprise-wide transformations, using Agile development principles in concert with Lean business process improvement in an attempt to transform their businesses in today’s harsh economic climate.
- There will be more failures in agile adoption, as organizations attempt to drive the agile practices without fully understanding the agile principles; or simply jump onto the agile bandwagon and continue to practice waterfall (or whatever) while calling it agile.
Claude Baudoin, a senior consultant, expects contractors and consultants to be in demand, and many of them will be ex-employees who, having found their past employer’s loyalty in short supply, will now be more interested in being their own boss than in rejoining as an employee. 2008 and 2009 saw a bloodbath in IT ranks. Never well-protected from corporate misunderstanding and even mistrust, IT was forced to cut everything that the CEO and the CFO did not understand - which is a lot. As activity picks up in 2010, there is no spare capacity to start new projects, and rehiring takes some time. Expect contractors and consultants to be in demand, and many of them will be ex-employees who, having found their past employer’s loyalty in short supply, will now be more interested in being their own boss than in rejoining as an employee (with fewer benefits than before they were released). There was already an erosion of the traditional employment model in favor of a contingent workforce. Expect that curve to go through a step function as a result of the crisis.
He believes that the outsourcing trend will lead to Innovation vs. Commoditization: A consequence of the recent crisis is that management has been looking to outsource everything in IT - often not even keeping enough people to problem-manage the contracts with outsourcers, provide sound governance, keep ownership of master data, etc. Innovation didn’t seem so important in 2008-2009, and didn’t Nicholas Carr say that IT didn’t matter anyway? Companies that followed this to an extreme will no longer have the internal talent to re-innovate when they need to, nor can they rely on companies halfway around the globe whose contract is purely about reducing the cost per transaction while maintaining a service level barely above acceptable. By 2012, expect that compelling user features, the kinds of things that make people camp out overnight in the rain in front of an Apple Store, will come from those companies that understood how to maintain, then quickly ramp up, an investment in IT innovation and in the people capable of it.
Gil Broza, a senior consultant, believes that in 2010-2011, Agile adoption will increase considerably, while the certification of newcomers will drop sharply in price and scale. As companies regroup post-recession, they will firm up co-located, on-shore development; any growth in off-shore efforts will be in the form of increased business representation.
Ken Collier, a senior consultant, believes that although Agile adoptions will proliferate, we will see an increase Agile project failures due to misunderstanding, misapplication, and misguided attempts to follow an “agile recipe.” Kanban will emerge as a powerful Agile technique for managing support and maintenance activities by software product companies.
Jim Highsmith, a senior consultant, states that in 2010 a small but significant number of organizations will “get it” when it comes to agility. They will begin to appoint Chief Agility Officers (CAO) who may initially report to the CIO, but over time will report to the CEO. These organizations understand that business responsiveness — agility — is key to their success and that creating a CXO-level officer to focus on responsiveness is as critical as creating CIO or CTO positions. The CAO’s role will be to extend agility far beyond agile software development or agile project management to agile customer solution delivery that might involve marketing, sales, distribution, or services delivery.
Mark Levison, a senior consultant, believes that there will be some big public agile adoption failures this year. These will be companies that tried to agile in name without understanding the change in values and mindset.
- Fake Agile Certification(s) - Agile is a change of mindset and values. Already there are several charlatan certifications as people jump on the band wagon. No certification can measure whether a person has truly understood agile and adopted the mindset. Instead of worrying about certification when purchasing training, talk to the trainer and see if they understand agile and teaching. Don’t worry about the certification.
- Agile Business - The leading organizations have mastered agile as a software development process to the point that they produce products faster than sales/marketing can handle. To get the greatest benefit these organizations will need to take an agile/lean approach to the whole business starting with sales/marketing and eventually encompassing legal, HR, etc.
Bart Perkins, a senior consultant, believes:
- The next few years are going to be difficult for IT. Budgets will be flat while demand for IT continues to grow. IT will feel immense pressure to improve internal efficiency in order to make more money available for new services.
- During 2010, IT organizations will place additional emphasis on activities that will save money including:
- Virtualization. In addition to virtualizing additional servers, organizations will expand virtualized storage and the desktop as well.
- Supplier management. Organizations will work with key suppliers to lower the supplier’s bill. At a minimum, they will review licenses and remove unused seats, services, or maintenance. (Telecom audits in particular usually save money.) More sophisticated organizations will closely tie each supplier product to a component of the IT Architecture to identify (and remove) redundant products.
- Open source. Open source will continue to gain market share. While few large organizations will migrate to Open Office, it will be popular with startups and smaller organizations.
- While internal efficiency projects are not glamorous, each one saves money.
Dave Rooney, a senior consultant, make predictions for the upcoming decade…
“I see Agile Software Development following the same pattern as two other game-changing trends — Relational Database Management Systems and Object-Oriented Programming. After early initial work in both of these areas, it took about 20 years for them to reach the Late Majority and Laggards phases of Rogers’ Technology Adoption Lifecycle. At the 10-year mark, both industries had significant breadth in terms of companies and their approaches and tools, and indeed there was fragmentation of exactly what RDBMS and OO even meant at that point.
- At the end of 2009, I see the same thing happening in the Agile Software Development world. We have a number of approaches in use — Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming, Industrial XP, Feature Driven Development, RUP and DSDM — and there is fragmentation in the market. There is significant competition among the approaches and the vendors that provide tools to support them.
- Composite Methods: There will be an amalgamation of methods/processes/standards being used across all tiers of an organization over the next three years. Separate business management (e.g. SixSigma), governance (e.g. ITIL), project management (e.g. Prince2), software processes (e.g. RUP) and pure agile development (e.g. Scrum) will not exist as separate entities. Why? Organizations are a singular, large, globally spread entities that yearn to benefit by cohesive/unified IT performance. IT and business cannot be considered as two separable entities. We’ll see organizations creating repositories of all their methods/processes/standards and picking elements from these processes to create “composite agile” methods that will enhance business agility.