Friday, January 04, 2008

Agile Development, What's in it for Me?

Aside from personal preference, the only reason to make a change to the way you develop software is to realize a benefit. It could be to increase quality, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, productivity, or profits. In the end, these should all result in increased profits. If profits are not an important part of your organization, for instance you work at a not-for-profit, then another way to look at this is reducing expenses. For simplicity, I will focus on profits.

Agile Profits
In 2006, Litle & Co. landed at No. 1 on the Inc. 500 list with $34.8 million in 2005 revenue and three-year growth of 5,629.1 percent. In 2007 Inc. magazine cited Litle & Co.’s 2006 revenue as $60.2 million, representing a three-year growth rate of 897.6% over its 2003 revenue of $6.0 million. How has Litle achieved these impressive results? One factor that they site is their use of Agile development.

Why should you care about the profitability of your company? There are a number of reasons. If you are a stockholder, you benefit directly. The more profitable a company is, the more likely it is to be secure. The more profitable a company is, the more likely it is to embark on exciting new opportunities which mean more opportunities for you. It also means that the company is more likely to invest in its development infrastructure.

If you were smirking while reading the previous paragraph because you know that extra profits will never be invested into the development organization, perhaps you are working for the wrong company. Or perhaps nobody ever thought of investing more into the development organization and a suggestion or two in the right place is all that is needed. In either case, you can still take to heart the idea of re-investing profits into the development engine and work on strategies to make it happen.

Next: Reinvest in Your Engine by Improving the Work Environment

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