Originally intended to outline a way for development teams to work together more efficiently, agile in 2013 went beyond software and exploded into the mainstream, leaving organizations to figure out how to scale the process beyond a team level.
Some refer to this as the maturing of agile.
Two surveys last year, one by VersionOne and the other by the Scrum Alliance, revealed that a majority of respondents believed the most significant barrier to further adopting agile practices is trying to change the organizational culture, and that organizations must encourage and create a culture focused on collaboration in order to deliver value to customers.
Damon Poole, chief agilest at IT recruitment firm Eliassen Group, explained that one of the biggest mistakes in agile is that it is often thought of in terms of development, and that stakeholders don’t fully understand the scope of responsibilities or have proper organizational support needed.
Early in the year, VersionOne tried to turn back agile’s focus to the team with its release of TeamRoom, but as agile adoption continued to grow, the focus turned back to the enterprise. In May, the company released a new Portfolio Timeline and enhanced Conversations to support enterprise-wide agile initiatives within the company. By August, VersionOne had extended agile collaboration to include all software stakeholders. CEO Robert Holler explained that in order to be competitive, all parties touching the business initiative must have the means to connect and collaborate seamlessly.
OpsHub, an ALM integration provider, advanced agile into the enterprise in May with its release of OpsHub Integration Manager v5.3. The release improved integration between disparate test-management and execution tools used by teams to enhance collaboration and visibility among quality stakeholders.
Microsoft continued to push agile to business decision-makers with what it called portfolio backlogs within its Team Foundation Server. The backlogs give users a view that makes sense for the level they need.
In August, collaboration between development teams and scaling agile across the enterprise were among the topics discussed at the Agile2013 conference in Nashville. The need for more instruction, planning and guidance on how to collaborate with each other was stressed. At the conference, Blueprint announced Enterprise Agile Requirements: techniques for enterprises undertaking large, complex development projects.
To help organizations achieve business agility, Rally Software announced support for v2.5 of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) in August. The new release provided an online knowledgebase of proven practices for scaling agile across the enterprise; kept program and product managers informed of potential misalignments through visual cues; and delivered immediate feedback on a project.
The year ended with Tasktop’s announcement of Tasktop Sync 3.0, a major release of its flagship software life-cycle integration platform. The release includes support for solutions from Rally, giving additional capabilities for agile software development. With Sync, teams using Rally for agile can easily collaborate with other teams, as well as keep track of user stories and test cases in quality assurance.