IBM going agile

Some thoughts on a WSJ article on IBM adopting agile methods.

The CIO of IBM, Jeff Smith, has announced that they are going to adopt agile methods for software development:

IBM CIO Designs New IT Workflow for Tech Giant Under Pressure

In a company of a similar scale to IBM where I once worked, a manager once told me regarding potentially introducing scrum "We are not going to use agile, but instead we are going to do things with more agility!". For a lot of managers, these concepts are not real things but just words.

Agile (at least scrum) is all about process, and a process change is terrifying for many organizations, especially large ones. They want the agile "badge", but they don't want all of the disruption of process reworking.

I love this quote from the article:

"The mission is to have innovation and the speed of small companies .. and see if we can do that at scale,"

Sorry but no you can't: start-ups are not afraid of process change, as most of them don't have a process to begin with. The best you can do is break off parts of your large group, and form smaller internal autonomous start-ups.

John Collins

I have been writing about web technology and software development since 2001. I am the developer of the Alpha Framework for PHP, and the five.today personal productivity app. I love open source, technology, and economics.