On May 5-6, over 700 agile practitioners convened at the Eagle Crest Conference Center and Resort in Ypsilanti, Michigan for the 2016 Agile and Beyond conference. This two-day conference, which was once again a complete sell-out, featured over 75 local, national and international speakers. One of those speakers was Edward Kim, Stout’s own Business Analysis and Agility Practice Lead.
During a very well-attended session, Edward spoke on the topic of “Using Agile Practices to Delight CEO’s.” As Edward explained,
“Agile methodology is rightfully focused on developing software that delights users with enjoyable and productive user experiences, pleasant user interfaces and unparalleled ease of use. But how do we simultaneously delight our CEOs and other stakeholders that support and fund our projects, but may not necessarily ever use our software? After all, those who are footing the bill are ultimately much more concerned with reducing costs, increasing productivity and maximizing profitability than they are with delightful user experiences.
Continued Edward, “The answer lies in extending the tenets of agile (continuous improvement, reduction of wasteful processes, etc.) to the enterprise business processes that our software supports. All too often, we use our expertise to deliver systems that support established organizational processes without questioning the soundness and efficiency of those processes. In doing so, we often fail to identify and capitalize on opportunities to improve processes and workflows that would have an incredible impact on organizational productivity and profitability. If we accept the responsibility to question the status quo of the core business processes that impact our system (via inputs, outputs, data flows, integration points, etc.), we have a much better chance of driving the kinds of efficiencies that will make our business sponsors eager to green-light projects. In doing so, we create a scenario where the agile practitioner becomes the Continuous Improvement / Process Engineering function that so many organizations lack, but sorely need. Even more importantly, we will drive efficiencies that maximize the value and ROI that we deliver to our organizations—and delight our CEO’s and key stakeholders in the process.”
John W. Stout, President and Founder of Stout Systems, added the following: “The annual Agile and Beyond conference continues to be one of the most eagerly anticipated events for agile practitioners and software development professionals in our region. We are thoroughly committed to supporting the ongoing educational efforts of the local software development community, and we were very proud to have our own Edward Kim sharing his experiences for the benefit of the professionals in attendance at this year’s conference.”