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How IT Should Apply The Agile Manifesto to Collaboration

The Agile Manifesto should be adopted by today’s IT departments and their interactions with other colleagues.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

How IT Should Apply The Agile Manifesto to Collaborating with Sales, Marketing and Other Business Units

By Stuart Phipps, Relayware IT Operations Manager

Companies are changing the way they do business faster than ever, and IT departments are strained to meet their organization's requirements for rapid, business-driven change. Executives across the company are looking at IT not only for increased speed, but they also look at technology to drive improvements to revenue generation, customer satisfaction, channel partner engagement, quality assurance and increased availability.

Here at Relayware, we have a front row seat to inter-department collaborative efforts, most often between Sales, Marketing and IT. These groups work together to create dynamic partner programs that leverage technology to generate more sales and revenue.

As a guardian, IT's traditional approach has most often been more cautious than other departments, as IT is not hyper reactive to a rapid-fire business environment. However, when IT fails to change the way it interacts with the other departments, the business units will either outsource IT, create their own IT unit or simply operate outside the watchful eye of IT. We see the most successful IT departments finding new approaches to balance protecting the company and collaborating. One method that we see successfully work is when IT takes an “agile” approach.

The Agile Manifesto, which is based on 12 principles, should be adopted by today’s IT departments and their interactions with other colleagues.

  • 1) Customer satisfaction by rapid delivery of useful software
  • 2) Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
  • 3) Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
  • 4) Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers
  • 5) Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted
  • 6) Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location)
  • 7) Working software is the principal measure of progress
  • 8) Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace
  • 9) Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
  • 10) Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential
  • 11) Self-organizing teams
  • 12) Regular adaptation to changing circumstances

*Taken from Beck, Kent; et al. (2001). "Principles behind the Agile Manifesto." Agile Alliance. Archived from the original on 14 June 2010. Retrieved 6 June 2010.

Internalizing these principles and applying them will allow IT to be responsive to fast-changing needs yet provide the safeguards needed to maintain quality and sustain operations.