Agile: The Organizational Challenge

Customer demand on application developers has never been stronger.

Customer demand on application developers has never been stronger. People expect new features more quickly, capabilities that better align to their needs, and fast, flexible responses to changing market trends. This has led to the explosive growth in iterative/agile development in the forms of Scrum, Kanban, XP, and even ‘Lean Development,’ which better enables teams to iteratively respond to the market and give customers the applications they expect.

But these new development approaches bring their own unique challenges and costs–which some people may not be prepared to pay. While you may be more responsive to customer needs, associated organizational penalties are often overlooked and end up costing a company more than they bargain for.

“We did an agile initiative and it was a nightmare. I had no visibility, I had no influence and yet it cost me a million dollars and ate up 6 months of my resources.”

-Technology Company CTO

Inadequate visibility/prioritization for executives, inability to capitalize their agile development, a lack of holistic resource management, and a disconnected development process affects organizations at the highest levels.

“Moving to an agile development process has not come without a cost. We were only able to capitalize about 7% of our development costs, this quarter (vs. the industry average of 25%) because we have disparate and inconsistent technology that doesn’t match our traditional project work. This was a line item mentioned by the CFO on our earnings call…it is that big of a deal.”

-Sr. Director of IT, Healthcare Software Company

As teams have grown beyond the “sticky-note wall room” into distributed teams, they have traditionally taken a “developer-centric” approach to agile project management, leveraging defect-trackers, testing tools and other solutions to manage daily updates and stand-ups. But while this has automated the needs of the team, it hasn’t solved the needs of executives and priorities.


A New Approach – Win/Win for Executives and Developers

By pushing agile visibility “above the line,” organizations can change the paradigm and acceptance of agile development, enabling executives and agile teams to work together without doing duplicate and replicated work, yet maintain the speed and flexibility of agile lifecycle management.

While the focus on executive visibility and prioritization is increasingly important, it can’t minimize the inherent benefits to developers. Integrated toolsets are essential across the entire software development value chain, enabling collaboration and reporting facilities previously impossible in heterogeneous environments.

Agile is here to stay – and its benefits can best be realized only with a comprehensive approach to planning, investments, prioritization and software development. Whether you are looking at adopting Agile for new software development projects or broader business transformation initiatives, having the transparency to drive incremental improvements will be key to maintaining ongoing management support and adoption in your organization.

Written by

Alyson Poston

Alyson Poston is a senior advisor of solution strategy at CA Technologies. As part of…

Published in

View this topic
  • James Holland

    This is great. Hooray for Disney’s imagineers!


    become a new brand in the share market research with its accurate research. Proven
    itself always right whether market is bull or bear. Last week all paid clients
    booked handsome profit in NIFTY, BANKINIFTY & STOCKS. Now for the coming
    week we expect more correction can come in NIFTY as the IRAQ issue is getting
    more tense, If it happens more then you will see a sharp fall in all world marketNSE BSE, STOCK TIPSbecause as we know all world run on
    crude & most of the crude comes from IRAQ. So be ready for a sharp fall so
    sell will be the best strategy for next week also. Traders can make a sell
    position in NIFTY around 7600-7650 with stoploss 7750 for the target of
    7300-7200.One can also make a sell call NIFTY 50 stocks as per NIFTY levels. You
    can also take our two days free trial to check our accuracy. For further updates
    you can visit our website.



  • king lear

    testing comment functionality, please do not publish this

  • Rachel Macik

    Love the personal pic :)

    • CAHighlight

      Thank you!

  • Plutora Inc

    This is a good case study. 2.3 sec’s off a login transaction is big.

  • Michele Hudnall

    While the analysts were hyping DevOps, I posted the oversight of not including security as part of that discussion as you are highlighting here. Instead of just talking DevOps, it should be DOS (what’s old is new again :-) – DevOpsSec. As a previous AppDev person, it’s the app, who’s using it, why and where rather than the device and having the service available.

    As you rightly point, out Security should be baked into the solution.

    Nice Post and Timely!


    • CAHighlight

      Thank you for your feedback Michele. Agreed – security cannot be overlooked. Appreciate your input!

  • Mitesh

    I would love a printed copy

  • Lars Johansson

    I love the idea of BYOID! This makes me choose if I am almost anonymous (with my Hotmail Nicname) or official with identity from an official organisation. My Identity Provider will attach identity with right level of LoA according to the need of the Service provider.

    • CAHighlight

      Thank you for your comment. BYOID has tangible benefits for end users and relying parties but it also has to be weighed in the balance with potential risks and liability concerns. It will be interesting to see how BYOID plays out in the enterprise.