By Brian Lucas
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” – Benjamin Franklin
If you look at the history of people and progress, you’ll see three types of people: those who are thought leaders and early adopters, those who will either give it a try or cautiously wait and see, but once they are really convinced will follow and finally those who are philosophically and diametrically opposed and are obstructionists on a deeply emotional and philosophic level. The people in the first category don’t need any convincing, while the people in the last category are a lost cause, but fortunately are in a minority.
It is no different with Agile. There are those who do agile naturally and never can see what all the fuss is about and why you would work any other way, those who weren’t agile thinkers naturally, but once they really understand it will support it and finally those who to whom the fluidity, adaptability, shared responsibility and lack of completely centralized control that agile requires is an anathema. Spending time trying to convince these people is a wasted effort; because even if you convinced them agile is better they will still remain in opposition. It is the people in the second group that make the difference between widespread adoption with success or isolated deployment and failure. This is where time and effort are best expended with education, guidance and mentoring. One of the most effective ways of gaining an understanding of a concept for people in this group is by example. So we are going to begin discussing agile concepts in a series of articles that contrast the agile approach with a non-agile one.
In this series of posts we will take a look at two different completely fictitious companies. The first is called Pyramid Computer Software (PCS), the second is known as Adaptive Logik Solutions (ALS). Both are software consulting, development and contract programming organizations. PCS has been in business for three decades. It was started by two sales executives from a large IT company. They left their company because they wanted to be in total control of their own careers and it was a time of opportunity. PCS grew slowly at first, but is now a billion dollar public corporation and has around 4000 employees. It has a hierarchical structure with divisions organized along territorial lines. In contrast, ALS has been in business for 5 years. It was started by a software product manager who left a very large software development company because he didn’t like the bureaucracy. ALS grew rapidly, but is now a public corporation valued at $900 million and has around 2500 employees. It has a loose hierarchical structure organized along functional lines with most employees having two persons they report to – an organization manager and a team leader. We’ll look at how each enterprise approaches both the serious challenges and simple needs of enterprise operations that occur every day.
thanks for such a great post and the review, i am totally impressed!
I hope to add additional tale of two companies as time permits.
So well told and easy to read and understand. Why can’t the rest of your company’s blogs be as good as this. -Paul
Thanks for expressing your appreciation Paul. I would like to focus on the positive aspects here rather than denegrate any other blogs. Thanks for being a reader.
Paul nailed that one on the head man. Most blogs are lame!!!
Brian the article implied that there were more of these comparative storylines. I found this one so helpful in illustrating the point of agile thinking I would like to review the others. If there are others, can you point me to them? Also would you mind my using this content to help make the point of agile thinking? :Jim
Jim – You are free to use as long as you fully acknowledge where you got it from following basic copyright law. I am working on another as time permits me.
Brian – I noticed that you are starting to footnote your articles more in recent posts. I was wondering if this script which was fantastic would benefit from that. I love the two companies comparison – it is a great concept!
Thanks Rena. I might go back at some time an footnote this for more agile pointers and references as I did with Being Agile in the Face of Hurricane Sandy.
Hi Brian: What a great idea!!! Where is the rest of the series and when will the movie come out! Are you looking for actresses?
I appreciate your enthusiasm Michelle! For me it is a matter of limited time, but I will try and get there. Send me your portfolio. lol