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IBM Journal of Research and Development

Business Value through Software Development   Abstract

Agile methods for software practice transformation

by E. V. Woodward,
R. Bowers,
V. S. Thio,
K. Johnson,
M. Srihari,
and C. J. Bracht
In a large-scale distributed complex software engineering environment, the ability to rapidly evaluate and improve software engineering practices can be a key market differentiator. Practices that shorten the development cycle, cost-effectively improve quality, and align software with customer needs can have a direct impact on the business value delivered by the enterprise. The IBM Quality Software Engineering (QSE) organization motivates and enables teams across IBM business units and geographies to adopt recommended software engineering practices. QSE has historically established communities and used well-known organizational change management principles to help teams adopt and use recommended practices. In 2008 and 2009, QSE discovered that blending well-known organizational change management principles with agile software development principles enables communities to more consistently deliver significant value to their members. QSE Communities use Scrum, which is an agile project management framework, to prioritize their work on the basis of the communitiesí needs, plan their work every two weeks and then deliver value at the end of every two-week Sprint (iteration), demonstrate results, and obtain feedback and continuously improve by reflecting and identifying improvement actions at the end of each Sprint. Combining Scrum with proven steps to organizational change management has allowed QSE to rapidly motivate and enable software engineering improvements across IBM.

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