Presentation: Agile Underperforming? Keys to Improving Delivery

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Just because you have implemented Agile techniques does not mean you are performing to the level which your organization is capable. Is your implementation of Agile underperforming? Agile has been promoted as delivering higher customer satisfaction, better quality, faster time to market, increased productivity and — in some cases — to deliver world peace. The question is do you know and if you think you know, is your knowledge more than anecdotal? The only way to know truly is to measure.

Measurement is only the first step in finding issues and taking action. Measurement provides focus. Being aware of problems and not spending the time and effort to study performance is a waste. W. Edwards Deming admonished us to have “constancy of purpose.” I would use the term “attention-span” in an attempt to make the same argument. Once we understand we have a problem, our next step is to take action and to perhaps make a difference in the value we deliver. Is your Agile underperforming? It doesn’t matter if you’re not going to fix it.

Key Learning Points

  • There are three macro areas that are the typical sources of Agile performance problems: Organization, Processes and Contracts.
  • Agile process follow the five basic tenants of an Agile business philosophy: alignment of goals, people, involvement, change and value focus.
  • Values and cultures in differences in how people learn and adapt which creates differing expectations of how they want to be managed and how they will tackle problems.
  • Measurement and coaching are critical to change and feedback.



Tom Cagley leads DCG’s Software Process Improvement and Software Measurement Consulting Practices. He has over 20 years of experience in the software industry. Tom has held technical and managerial positions in different industries as a leader in software methods and metrics, quality assurance, and systems analysis. He is a frequent speaker at metrics, quality, and project management conferences. His areas of expertise encompass methods and metrics, quality integration, quality assurance, and the application of the SEI’s CMMI® to achieve process improvements. Tom is the current President of the International Function Point Users Group. He also is an active blogger and podcaster, hosting and editing the Software Process and Measurement Cast.