Recently I attended a session of the Brisbane Agile Academy Meetup Group (which I highly recommend, and not just for the free pizza!) chaired by Craig Smith, on Using Agile for Non-Development Projects.
I must admit have a special interest in this idea: ever since I began using Agile for software development I have fantasised about its potential for non-development projects. I used it to partly plan my recent round the world trip. A former colleague of mine was using it to plan his wedding. If it works for a software team, it could work elsewhere… right?
But it’s never quite that easy, is it? It can be difficult to get buy-in for an Agile process in a development team, depending on the level of management support and developer engagement. Imagine how much harder it must be to get momentum in an environment or industry that may not have even heard of Agile!
Having these doubts in mind, the session was a real eye-opener for me. I was introduced to real people working in corporate teams using Agile for non-software projects.
Some examples I have discovered:
- The bank, Suncorp is using Agile for finance and procurement teams, with an Agile coach from software development background, and by mapping Agile onto standard processes
- The telecommunications company Telstra is applying Agile while providing external services to Suncorp, integrating with Suncorp’s preferred business service methodology
- Lonely Planet’s team of in-house lawyers is now using Agile to plan their work load and ensure priority items are done on time (Beverley Head in Agile Today, May 2011)
- AccuRev trained their whole sales team in Certified Scrum Training and adopted a quarterly iteration period, aligning with their sales cycle
I am looking forward to watching this trend continue.
Perhaps it might become the silver bullet to unlock the next wave of productivity growth for teams of knowledge workers. Or maybe lots of story boards will just end up getting thrown off rooftops!
What do you think? Do you know of any other examples of Agile being used in non development environments?