Doing agile – do I need to think about the rest of the enterprise?

I recently read an interesting article – Governing Agile Development Teams – by Scott Ambler

A couple of points particularly resonated with me – as they relate to my blog Agile database development 101 and the need to ‘Think about the rest of the enterprise’.

To quote the article:

“Agile methods should strive to optimize the whole, not just sub-optimize on construction or delivery.”

“Too many agile teams are building high-quality silo applications, which is better than building low-quality silo applications I suppose, but what they really need to be doing is building high-quality enterprise-class applications and the only way to do so is to take enterprise considerations into account throughout the delivery lifecycle

These quotes go someway in dispelling the myth that agile projects don’t need to think about the overall enterprise.

Getting the appropriate balance between tactical and strategic objectives is key for all projects – not just those ‘doing agile’.

Many projects, whilst perhaps being optimum for their particular business unit needs, are not paying enough attention to the overall needs of the enterprise and hence sub-optimum for ‘the whole’.

This is of particular importance to data architecture, and the overall data management space, as these project sub-optimisations are major contributors to the data quality debt incurred in many organisations.

The big question is how to ensure we get the appropriate balance?


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