A CIO’s Playbook for Adopting the Scrum Method of Achieving Software Agility

The pressures of a truly global economy cause today’s business to increasingly rely on their ability to produce software as a key competitive advantage. Whether it be software for managing manufacturing and customer delivery processes or software improving the efficiency of day to day activities, software touches virtually every facet of today’s businesses.

And yet for many organizations, software development practices remain as they were in the 1980s. Reliance on prescriptive, plan-based, waterfall methods is common despite mountains of evidence that these practices often fail to achieve real value delivery in a timely fashion, and so hamper our company’s responsiveness to fast-changing customer requirements and market conditions. And it’s not getting easier.

Today’s IT organizations must also effectively coordinate globally distributed software development teams while re-factoring legacy applications into more flexible, service oriented architectures. Clearly, we need a new approach for managing and developing software to remain competitive.

To address these challenges, a number of more agile and adaptive software development techniques are being adopted which allow organizations to deliver higher quality software more quickly. Scrum is one such proven method that has seen widespread adoption in many software organizations. This white paper describes how a CIO or other executive manager can implement Scrum on an organization-wide basis, including scaling across larger applications and teams of teams – the challenges he or she will face as well as the rewards – and provides a playbook for adopting Scrum in enterprises where software, and lots of it, is the key to competitive success in the marketplace.

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