We're making a few changes this year, and one of those changes is a wholesale shift to Agile Software Development. And when I say "we", I'm talking about my division, Media + Marketing. We enlisted the help of Rally Software to lead us to the promised land. But in preparation, I had the Product Managers, General Managers, VP and Development Managers read Lean Software Development by the Poppendieks (husband and wife team). After that, everybody read Scrum and XP from the Trenches - a highly pragmatic guide to how one shop actually does Scrum. Scrum and XP from the Trenches is a great read.
This week, Rally came in for a two day kick off session - Agile 101. The idea was to evangelize to a team experienced with waterfall methodologies to make them believers. The picture on the left is of our training room. Even our breaks were time boxed. From where I sit, the session was successful.
So now we're left, on our own for the next two weeks, doing full-blown Scrum with one of our 7 teams. Rally's going to come back for a retrospective to help us refine our approach, and then we launch with the other 6 teams.
One of those 6 teams is based entirely in China (well, the Product Owner is here in North America). I'm flying out there in a few weeks to train them and make them excited about all of this.
If our transition works we'll be rolling out less features this year. But they'll be more focused and simple. Stay tuned.