Agile enables Time To Market, DevOps enables control

2017-07-17, 11:09 Posted by: Jan-Willem Hordijk

Time To Market (TTM) is key

One of the biggest reasons to run any project with an Agile approach is to take distance from any form of waste to win time. The incentive to win time comes simply from the market. There is a demand today and needs to be fulfilled tomorrow, - no even in minutes! Planning and documenting according to a traditional waterfall approach simply consumes too much time in planning and coordination. At the same time waterfall tends to generate single points of failure and expensive redesigning when changes are required. 

Of course there is a lot more to bring forward about the advantages of being Agile, but we can conclude (and we know) that running projects in an Agile way is very important for Time To Market.

What is DevOps doing in an Agile story?

This part is simply about control.

DevOps isn´t a standard framework and it isn´t new either. Probably you identify DevOps as the old school approach of developing technical solutions in a very time consuming way with lot´s of documenting involved. But again, it isn´t a framework, it is an approach that can be defined in different ways. DevOps is a top-down approach for projects to stay in control while working Agile!

Here we land at the disadvantage of Agile ways of working. The combination of research and experience in this field within hundreds of large enterprises today show that critical elements to stay in control of risks is easily forgotten in the Agile approach. Leaving out too much results in delivering projects in an un-controlled way. 

To illustrate how the differences look like from a cultural point of view: (Schneiders´ culture model).

Source Schneiders´ model:

Let´s see how this looks in an Agile environment:

As you might have noticed, it looks quite empty at the control quadrant in the image of the Agile culture. And in a world where business and IT are no longer existing separately, this is a very important subject that needs attention.

How to win Time To Market in a controlled way?

To secure controlled project development a top-down control approach is required while enabling Agile ways of working. This top-down approach exists of a standard exercise to define:

  1. Vision
  2. Roadmap
  3. Release Planning
  4. Sprint Planning

But this is time consuming and expensive? No. It is doesn´t have to be. By using a standardized and simplified approach in defining vision, roadmap, release planning, sprint planning, risks, counter measures to control the risks and using a standard dashboard to monitor we have the ability to have a strong mapping of the expected risks on business, which enables control and traceability whilst the actual delivery is being executed completely Agile. That is the DevOps approach. In a routined DevOps - Agile culture this shouldn´t take more than 4% of the projects´ budget.


Stay in control, have the evidence - especially in the Cloud

This approach to deliver products and services is applicable for every kind of project. The key is to deliver any kind of improvement or innovation in a controlled but Agile incremental way. Dependent on the nature of the project, additional templates for control can be applied such as defining and implementing the right policies, security compliance measurements, cultural changes and processes to stay in control in the Cloud. 

By having a simple but well documented traceability of our internal projects, Agile can stay Agile while being in full control. This evidence is required to be able to gain trust:

  • How we work ourselves - which reflects how we work on customer projects
  • Our ambition  of growth in maturity translated into a roadmap
  • Evidence of control of what we do "We run your projects the same way as we do"

This way we match our ways of working with customer expectations. "We had great internal advantage of these approaches (showing evidence) and that is why we gladly apply it to your organization as well!"

Need assistance?

We are happy to discuss your challenges and how we could help you in achieving your challenging goals in the connected world!

For Cloud, Cloud SLA, Cloud Governance, DevOps & Agile: Contact Jan-Willem Hordijk /

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