Implementing agile frameworks: What should CIOs consider?

By Jonathan Crowl

At the enterprise level, software, mobile apps and other digital projects are massive undertakings. Dozens, or even hundreds, of developers and other related workers can be involved in the production of projects, which may take years to complete. Overseeing these projects is an incredible challenge for organizations, even ones with a great management structure in place. Fortunately, there are agile frameworks designed to facilitate and improve development projects.

These frameworks come in many shapes and sizes, all of which address different needs. As a result, you have a lot to consider before investing in an agile solution. By purchasing the wrong one, you run the risk of derailing a current project, wasting time and resources.

Here are some variables you should consider:

1. How will you use the framework?

Today, many agile frameworks are being used to build mobile properties, such as apps, websites and other software and functionality. As such, you must start by determining your intended use of an agile solution. You should consider how it can address certain problems, such as those involved with working on cross-functional teams and managing separate but related processes. You should also determine how much work from outside vendors is required and establish a desired time frame for the project’s completion. It’s important to remember that you should not look at the framework as a tool through which additional work can be accomplished. Instead, you should seek it out as a solution to an existing need. As LeadingAgile notes, once you understand the needs of your organization and a specific problem, the right solutions should become apparent.

2. What is the intended design of a prospective agile solution?

Some agile frameworks are built to be very prescriptive. When installed, they will make all the decisions for an organization and largely go into a self-management mode. This can be beneficial, especially for organizations that don’t know how to use them. In other cases, though, the prescriptive nature can make things more complex than necessary. As such, it’s important for you to gauge your own fluency with the technology in order to decide how much of an “auto-pilot” feature you need. If you have many teams working together on various projects, you need a solution that specializes in small teams, rather than large ones.

3. Is your organization committed to the new framework?

A scalable agile framework will likely require months before it can be used without any hiccups — and that time line could be extended if the project doesn’t receive the support it needs. As such, employees must be dedicated to the system and management must be patient as the new framework is implemented. This is a difficult transition, especially because the payoff will be most noticeable down the line, and it’s important that everyone knows that from the get-go.

Agile frameworks are more than just simple solutions that you can plug into your company’s infrastructure. These massive solutions are often complex, comprehensive systems that need to be chosen carefully.

Written By

Jonathan Crowl

Reporter

Jonathan Crowl has served as a tech writer and reporter for a number of tech publications and corporations. Specializing in mobile technology and digital startups, he is based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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