More agile success seen at ISVs than corporate IT

David Rubinstein
June 15, 2009 —  Agile comes easier, and results in greater success, in organizations where building software is their business, such as ISVs and Web companies like Amazon, eBay and Google.

That is the experience seen by Mike Jones, OutSystems’ vice president of marketing.

“Corporate IT is a different beast. The natural inclination is for people to say they don’t have professional developers. We don’t see that,” he said.

Three key differences between corporate development and “professional” development are budgets, the nature of the development team, and where the direction, features and focus for the application are coming from.

“An ISV is in business to build apps," Jones said. "At BMC [in 2000 to 2003, when Jones was there], we had a large budget. We didn’t have to lobby for more. They don’t worry about having to champion for dollars to add features. In corporate IT, you have to have a business case. You need a scope and a definition so you can get funding to build the app. It starts to make agile not so agile.”

As for development teams, Jones said that at ISVs, development teams are stable and developers work together on an ongoing basis. In corporate IT, “there seems like there is always a lack of resources. From project to project, sometimes they outsource, sometimes they bring in a consultant. That puts pressure in-house to support and maintain those apps. You need heavy documentation.”

Finally, Jones said, the direction, focus and features for applications created at ISVs and the Web companies usually comes from a project manager who’s exploring requirements on the delivery train, as well as working with customers and end users. Corporate IT “doesn’t have that,” Jones said.

“In corporate IT, the project manager is a business guy. It’s something they do on the side. They don’t embrace or deliver the agile approach.”

Related Search Term(s): agile

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