Friday, March 19, 2010

Turku Agile Day 2010 Presentation: "How to sell agile to my manager?"

Here are the slides for a presentation I gave on 18th of March at Turku Agile Day 2010.

How to sell agile to my manager?
View more presentations from Marko Taipale.


In order to sell anything you need to 1) Know your product 2) Know your customer 3) Understand her need.

Knowing our product is hard as it involves software development practices, values, principles, people skills. In addition one should understand the limitations of the product and alternatives for the product (competition).

Traditionally sales is about making value proposition. Value proposition consists of financial benefit (how much money you can save or generate with the product), functional benefit (time-to-market, quality, predictability, embracing business changes) and emotional benefit (happiness, well-being, sustainability.. team/customer/organization level).

If you list all the possible benefits that one could get from agile and you get it sold (or a consultant gets it sold) you should be really worried. Agility as such should not be the goal, but any organization adopting agile should consider why they want to be agile.

Pilots fail cause the management expectations are wrong and you seldom get truly cross-functional team working for the pilot. Pilots are about learning not about getting all the possible benefits that agile could bring. Make sure your management understands that building the knowledge should be the goal for your first agile pilot. Organization should be really interested looking into impediments that will surface once the pilot is kicked off.

Find out what is the current problem in your organization and see if agile could help there. Do not be dogmatic, sometimes agile is not the answer. If your organization is about to adopt agile make sure that you understand the goal and that it is SMART goal.

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