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Agile Adoption and Maturity

agiledevopswhitepaperAs the video industry experiences another phase of significant disruption and evolution can it adapt to the changes in technology, consumer behaviour and the competitive landscape by using software development practises such as Agile and DevOps to drive innovation and sustain growth?

We are serialising our whitepaper ‘Agile and DevOps within the Video Industry’ here over the next X weeks. If you cannot wait, then you can download the whole whitepaper now at http://www.fairmilewest.com/2015/11/agile-devops-within-video-industry-whitepaper/.

Last time we introduced our paper and this time we are looking at Agile Adoption and Maturity.

The majority of the video industry has embraced the concept of Agile software delivery practises but there are wide variations in the way different organizations actually implement Agile.

From our interviews we learned that many organizations still face challenges when delivering large scale projects where multiple vendors and stakeholders are involved. Mark Smith, CTO of ITV in the UK says: “Working in an Agile manner with third parties can be impossible when the work has to be defined as a SoW with fixed costs, timescales and deliverables.”

On large and complex products it’s common that along with SoW style engagements, vendors are likely to use differing approaches to delivery leaving an integrator or the operator to manage a hybrid delivery model.

The Agile manifesto focuses on people not processes, which means that agile principles are adhered to but processes and approaches can be constantly changed to meet new challenges as long as they adhere to the manifesto. In actuality this is often used as an excuse to justify the hybridisation of approaches making use of some Agile concepts but mixed with non-agile concepts, with varying levels of maturity and adherence to the Agile manifesto.

However, not all hybrids are best of breeds, and significant rework/refactoring of processes needs to take place over time to move back towards the manifesto pledges where possible but by influence and not by direction.

Challenges exist internally, too, when looking to get buy-in from senior execs. Presenting a multi-million pound delivery plan based on a time and materials contract and a set of loosely defined goals does not go down well with the CFO who is usually looking for fixed time, scope and cost. Justin Tomlinson, formerly Director of Software for Sky and now Director for Delivery Craft says: “Fixing our costs and moving to a delivery model where incremental improvements were delivered more frequently and consistently gave the CEO what he wanted; growth, more predictability and a strong story on innovation. It also gave the CFO confidence in the numbers.”

Next time we will look at scaling agile or you can skip straight to getting the Whitepaper in full by downloading it at http://www.fairmilewest.com/2015/11/agile-devops-within-video-industry-whitepaper/.

To find out how Fairmile West can help you adopt and embrace the right approaches for your organization and projects please contact info@fairmilewest.com.

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