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Who is watching after your agile money? Part II

Hakan Altintepe | July 22, 2016
The enterprise-scale agile programs are complex operational systems. Proper executive controls are needed to avoid unnecessary operational and financial risks.

Enabling - In a typical agile program, the Enabling investment component accounts for more than one-third of the overall program investments. When the Agile, Core component is re-estimated or agile teams miss their velocity targets, most organizations have no means of resizing the Enabling effort, meaning that with every new sprint, the cost of the Enabling effort will grow proportionally to increases in the Agile, Core effort.   

Evidently, agile teams’ planning poker exercises have a profound impact on investments due to the multiplier effect of Agile, Core on everything else in the program. 

In summary, agile programs are complex operational systems. Effective collaboration can compensate for complexity in programs with less than 100 full-time employees. However, larger programs additionally require executive management controls specifically designed for agile to avoid cases experienced by others, such as the cost of an individual feature exceeding the original estimate by a factor of five, the program cost doubling, and the program schedule increasing to three times longer than the original estimate.


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