Choosing an agile methodology? That’s easy. Scaling across a large enterprise? That’s hard, and a real challenge for the most seasoned Scrum Master or agile team.
In speaking with several project managers, Scrum Masters and tool providers, it seems that the key to successful agile adoption is to change the corporate culture. The goal: getting everyone on board. The message (often): Failure is necessary in order to ultimately succeed. The necessity: the right agile tools for the job.
“Tools shouldn’t be there as a hammer; they’re there to help from a visibility and accessibility point-of-view,” said Robert Holler, CEO of VersionOne.
Anders Wallgren, CEO of Electric Cloud, said that while tools won’t necessarily make you agile, the lack of tools could hinder the adoption process.
Alan Bustamante, senior agile consultant at Seapine, recommended watching how other teams in your company, and perhaps in other companies, have adopted agile, and then taking some of your methods from them. He advised, however, against mimicking them completely.
“There is no ‘one’ process across the board. Teams develop different tools with different processes,” Bustamante said.
Richard Cheng and Fadi Stephan, managing consultants at Excella Consulting, recommended keeping tools as light as possible when starting out.
“It is hard to learn a new tool and a new process, and teams want to be sure that they don’t let the tool mold the process,” Cheng said, adding that teams should be the ones driving the adoption of the tool instead of having it imposed upon them in a top-down approach.
“Once you buy a tool, you’re stuck with it for the time being,” said Victor Szalvay, senior director of ScrumWorks engineering at CollabNet. He added that it is important to evolve your process before picking the tool so that you can decide how customizable your tool needs to be.
Patric Palm, CEO of Hansoft, believed customization should be left to the development team, so team members can decide what exactly they need from the tools.