Creating a 4 P development strategy

This week saw the first anniversary at my current company – wow, what a rollercoaster ride it’s been implementing Agile over the last year!

I won’t bore you with the details but we’ve come such a long way in that year, most notedly implementing:

  • a new ScrumBan development process
  • test driven development
  • pair programming
  • continuous integration
  • automated deployments
  • automated acceptance testing

So what’s next? I’d be foolish to think I’m finished because even the best development environments still have areas of improvement, ways they can change their code, practices and processes to increase productivity and deliver more value. And with my new boss coming over from the US this week I began thinking about what I want to achieve over the remaining months of this year and into 2011.

In my last post I touched upon a fantastic course I went to in August called Leading Lean\Agile teams run by Dave Laribee (incidentally it looks like it’s running again in November so I’d recommend any Development Managers out there sign up now!). This post isn’t about anything Dave specifically covered in that course but his approach did get me thinking about how I could create a development strategy for 2011.

The underlying structure of his course centred around 4 key areas:

  • Products
  • People
  • Process
  • Practice

So when I sat down to begin my “strategic thinking”, a light went off in my head about how I could approach it. I took each one of these 4 concepts and I began creating mind maps for them, putting together topics and sub-topics where I could see improvements being made and what new practices or technologies could make a real difference. And after only an hour I had a blueprint for a development strategy that I could work with – it just needed fleshing out with finer detail.

And that’s it. No tricks, no secrets, just a simple set of steps that made it very easy to create a comprehensive strategy – hopefully it will go down well with my boss!

And in true Agile fashion, I’ve been retrospecting over this process itself to see how I could improve upon it so next time I think I might involve my senior developers in the mind mapping sessions and I’ll definitely be recommending we do this to my Head of IT Operations as the concepts are identical. In fact I could see this process working within any department so it will be interesting to see how I evovle it throughout my career.

Anyway, enough from me, hope this was helpful.

Until next time…

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One Response to “Creating a 4 P development strategy”

  1. David W. Says:

    Hi,

    I’ve been in the management consulting world for good part of my career. When I saw the agile development in true practice by a technology consulting firm we hired to develop an app, I was beyond impressed. I have heard of agile for years, but saw it in true action and wow! I agree agile can be used as a strategy development & execution approach for many parts of businesses today. I have been trying to think through its broader application as well (posted some initial articles at http://strategy-keys.com) but need to continue to think through. Your article caught my attention. Great minds…. (just joking we need to be humble). Thank you!

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