Explains how companies that are seeking to implement rapid innovation can adopt the Agile software development approach. In Agile, self-organizing teams work in short…
Explains how companies that are seeking to implement rapid innovation can adopt the Agile software development approach. In Agile, self-organizing teams work in short cycles called “sprints” and develop the features to enable the product to continuously evolve in the light of the experience they gain and through customer feedback.
For insight into how Agile is being implemented at a leading software services firm with clients in hundreds of industries, Strategy & Leadership asked Rob Purdie, Agile Practice Lead for the IBM Design Lab, how Agile software development methods were contributing to the success of IBM's key digital marketing initiatives.
The traditional approach to software development is to define, design, develop and test everything – before delivering anything. With Agile, managers can reduce waste by prioritizing features based on relative business value, evaluating and re-designing as the project proceeds.
Agile requires leaders and teams to work and learn through problems, designs and options in an open and transparent environment. It places new demands on technical leaders in terms of negotiation and planning skills.
Managers outside the software industry should note that Agile/Scrum is likely to be increasingly essential to the future of product development and manufacturing. Nowadays many products for consumers and businesses include embedded software systems, so developing products in the future will require deeper collaboration across multiple engineering disciplines and marketing teams and familiarity with the Agile approach.
By asking Donald V. Seibert, Chairman of the Board of JCPenney, a number of variations on the basic question, “How do you plan?” this magazine continues its series of interviews with top management. These articles are informal and designed to reveal a chief executive officer's attitudes, his style, his inventory of problems and concerns, perhaps even his prejudices and preferences. The particular executives selected for these conversations (W. R. Goodwin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Johns‐Manville, and a former planning consultant, was first) have had substantial experience in planning. Mr. Seibert, for instance, was a line executive who suffered through the experience of being nominated company planner without the benefit of academic training. For this interview Mr. Seibert sat still for a two‐hour lunch in one of his company's private dining rooms in the Manhattan headquarters. Speaking cautiously, with the restraint of a corporate spokesman who is well aware of the pitfalls that encircle the corporate state, Mr. Seibert outlined his view of Penney's present, its years ahead, and its place in the decades to come. Eventually, when talk turned to marketing strategy — parting the customer from his dollar in exchange for the quality merchandise for which Penney's is famous — his voice became more fervent. A planner because he lives in an era in which planning is prudent capitalistic strategy, Mr. Seibert is obviously a retailer at heart. Under his leadership Penney's has achieved the following: • Resumed earnings growth, partly by controlling expenses and increasing productivity. • Increased both sales and net income. • Survived a challenging economic period which saw the bankruptcy of one major retailer. • Successfully maintained its image as a reliable merchandiser in a time when consumerism has held other firms up to the light and found tarnish. • Held on through eight unprofitable years until the catalogue operation which he once commanded began to make a significant contribution to profit.