Using Agile Working in Software Development


| 5 Posts

Chartered Member

11 Sep, 2014 10:12


I am currently working for an IT Software Development company and we are keen to progress the practice of 'Agile' working with our Software Developers/Development team.

I wondered if anyone has used any Consultants/Companies who can help support this i.e. spend time with the team to coaching/develop agile working practices, and then come back once every 2 - 4 weeks to reflect, review and re-confirm practices...........ideally we want our Managers/Leads to be the main leads on Agile working but we need more than just a training course - ideally someone who can provide coaching on this area for a set number of days per month/year?

Any recommendations would be most welcome!



  • Lesley

    | 393 Posts

    Chartered Member

    11 Sep, 2014 10:30

    I'm surprised to hear of a Software Dev Company that are not already practising Agile methods. 

    Do you know what "flavour" of Agile they are keen to use? There are many - e.g. Scrum and Kanban being probably the two most well known.

    Maybe it is worth getting your senior managers through something like the "Scrum Master" qualifications so then they could coach from within? 

    The whole role of "ScrumMaster" is someone within the team to coach the team around using Scrum properly. You can get certified Scrum Devs and Product Managers as well.

    You could perhaps hire in a contractor who is already qualified in this area to fulfil this role - but they are likely to need to be around more than once ever few weeks. 

    There is a directory of certified Scrum coaches on the Scrum Alliance website - https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/member-directory?csc=true. 

  • Anna

    | 1015 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    11 Sep, 2014 10:47

    I don't wish to be pedantic, but in the interests of preventing confusion among HR colleagues I wanted to clarify the difference between "Agile" as an IT methodology - which is what Lesley so rightly identifies in her opening sentence - and the increasingly used term "Agile Working".

    As I understand it, "Agile": the methodology is an iterative approach to software development involving key stakeholders throughout the development cycle.

    Agile Working, on the other hand, is the phrase increasingly being used by people like the Agile Future Forum ( http://www.agilefutureforum.co.uk/) to describe the next wave of flexible and remote working.

  • Lesley

    | 393 Posts

    Chartered Member

    11 Sep, 2014 11:55

    Yes - useful point Anna.

    Agile seems to be becoming a trendy buzzword which is losing its original meaning, a little like how Cloud has gone from being something specific about using distributed networks referred to as "cloud computing" to covering pretty much any service provided online! 

    I made an assumption that due to the fact it's a software company, they would be talking about Agile from a development methodology point of view rather than anything more general, but I may be wrong there.

    A lot of companies will be using iterative methods, without really following any particular Agile methodology. There are a few hybrid methods too like "Scrum-ban" that pick bits and pieces from a few different areas, to suit the organisation.

    I think the Dev team will need to think about how they want to work, especially if they have traditionally been a Waterfall or V-model driven development team now looking to move into iterative working. 

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