Agile design and development principles meet enterprise IT infrastructure: The irresistible force meets the immovable object!

From enterprise data warehouses to OLAP cubes to Cassandra and mongo dB analytics platforms, we are not in Kansas anymore. Agile teams and practices are being pushed and prodded and pleaded and threatened by business units with unrealistic time to market needs, CIOs with enterprise class legacy system obsolescence and frustrated and overwhelmed architecture VPs – how do we apply agile principles and practices to these super-sized work efforts?

Do 2 week iterations apply to our work, or can we make them longer?  How much documentation is appropriate for this class of work?  How do we create vertically slices stories that can be implemented in iteration?  How do we test these technical or infrastructure stories?  How do you express infrastructure work as business user stories, and how should the narrative be written? How can we support iterative product development and still design our platforms and services for high availability, scalability, maintainability and reasonable TCO (total cost of ownership)?  The questions never stop, and these challenges are real and these folks need help; and they need it now!

Product management leaders and executives want to understand how agile methods integrate with traditional UCD, UX, Ideation and Discovery work.

QA leaders want to understand the agile approach to automated unit testing, manual and automated functional testing, integration testing, stress and load testing and user acceptance testing.  And how do all these levels of testing work together, what should be completed in a specific iteration, and who owns what anyway?

The life of an enterprise agile coach or agile program manager is never boring, and it is rarely simple.  In the coming weeks this blog will explore practical thoughts and solutions to address these “upper division” agile topics and challenges.

Cheers and Happy Monday,