Welcoming Danube into the CollabNet Family

February 23, 2010 CollabNet VersionOne

By now, I’m sure most readers of this blog have seen the announcement of CollabNet’s acquisition of Danube Technologies, Inc. Our CEO, Bill Portelli, posted a blog entry here yesterday addressing the strategic reasons behind the acquisition, but I wanted to write a note to welcome Danube into the CollabNet team, and talk a little bit about how I think they will make our services offerings stronger.

In its coverage of the announcement, Forrester Research penned a great blog post with a lot of details of why they think this is a key acquisition in the Agile ALM space. While there will be forthcoming discussions of how the CollabNet TeamForge and ScrumWorks products will be integrated, I’d like to focus on another area that Forrester called out in their blog:

“One of Collabnet’s largest implementations is the Forge.mil site which provides a community oriented development space for defense projects to share development assets. Increasingly these projects are looking to adopt Agile methods, but in a controlled and distributed way. The result of Collabnet’s acquisition of Danube is a large amount of Scrum best practice [which] will slowly percolate into this community.”

This is a key and fundamental strength this acquisition brings to the CollabNet services portfolio. Danube has an awesome array of talented Scrum Trainers and consultants that will be able to bring solid experience in explaining the details of how to take advantage of all that Agile development has to offer. Where I’m most excited is in how that combination of ‘how to do Agile’ intersects with CollabNet’s own community management consulting practice. A lot of what we do in the community consulting area is about explaining the ‘why’ of new methodologies such as Agile. Having our new Danube colleagues on board to help us deep dive into the ‘how’ of Agile will undoubtedly help us as we start to engage additional teams both within and outside of the DoD.

Forrester is absolutely correct that in the DoD space, the move to Agile is all about doing this in a controlled manner that makes sense. There is a long established culture in the department that doesn’t exactly embrace this ‘new-fangled’ way of doing things. Thankfully, the experience of building out Forge.mil has proven that amazing things can happen (180 days to launch initial revision of software.forge.mil) if you apply Agile principles to new projects in the DoD space. With that being said, we’ve had to build out a ‘hybrid-Agile’ approach in this space, to account for certain ‘back-end’ processes like Change Control Boards (CCBs), but we are still moving the department forward and saving taxpayer money in the form of reduced redundant efforts.

I look forward to working with my new colleagues in the services space, and would love to hear from any readers on what kinds of things you’d like to see the combined talents of the community consultants and Scrum Trainers take on. Hopefully, we’ll be able to integrate the Danube blogs into this space soon so that we can continue to drive these discussions forward…

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