Thoughts on Enterprise Agile in Australia

October 13, 2009 CollabNet VersionOne

With the Agile Australia conference about to be held in Sydney in October, iTWire recently ran a story teasing some of the talks planned there for representatives from large Australian enterprises. Namely, they’ll be discussing the truly disruptive effort required to successfully implement agile at an enterprise. Citing financial services company Suncorp, who began its agile transformation in 2007, Beverley Head reports that its 1,700 IT professionals currently using Scrum (about 80 percent of the organization’s entire staff) are experiencing a drop in productivity. This hiccup in the path toward process improvement is a result not only of adopting a new management approach, but, more specifically, one that demands employees learn to view how they work in altogether different way.

But Head’s findings aren’t all stories of decreased productivity and challenges to adoption—though there are many of those. In fact, Katrina Rowett, who is the executive manager of the business technology change program at Suncorp, reports that, in spite of a drop in productivity, the organization has much reason to think that agile is making a big difference. She explains:

“So far the benefits have included a faster return on revenue and delivering business functionality faster meaning we can bring product features to market faster and pip our competitors to the post, for example with mobile banking. We can also fulfill our compliance requirements for a truckload less money.”

Likewise, Nigel Dalton, who joined Lonely Planet as the company was attempting to grow from a book publisher to a full-scale travel experience provider, describes how waterfall had repeatedly failed at realizing that goal. And though implementing agile was, at least at first, disruptive for the organization, it has proven instrumental in helping Lonely Planet realize its goals.

If you’re an agile practitioner living in Australia, you may want to consider attending Agile Australia. Keynote speakers include Martin Kearns. You can read the entire story on iTWire here:

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