Agile Manifesto Report Card
Insurance Experts' Forum, December 6, 2011
It's now been 10 years since the Agile Manifesto was introduced to the world – the equivalent of centuries in the IT world—yet the agile business philosophy has only just begun to bloom as a way to effectively build and run software. As such, related areas of business are still adopting it; Agile Data Integration and Agile Business Integration are just two that encourage agile-style collaboration and cooperation.
Needless to say, the values and principals of agile are just as important – and perhaps even more sorely needed – as they were when crafted a decade ago. Insurance companies rely more than ever on well-integrated technology to oversee policies, connect with agents, track customer preferences and monitor for fraud.
How has the world progressed? Here's a report card on how we've progressed in adopting the core values put forth by the Manifesto:
• Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: D. Organizations have grown more digitized and automated, and more beholden to the technology that's been brought in.
• Working software over comprehensive documentation: A (by default). Developers may be smart people, but they're terrible when it comes to creating documentation. So there's less and less of it – fortunately, software has grown more intuitive and self-managing.
• Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: C. There are many efforts – and a lot of lip service – for vendors, business managers and IT managers to function as “partners” and “teams” and achieve “alignment.” But money still needs to change hands, and lawyers still have to lord over any and all agreements.
• Responding to change over following a plan: B. The economy and technology keep moving so fast that executives and IT managers alike recognize that plans can quickly become obsolete.
Joe McKendrick is an author, consultant, blogger and frequent INN contributor specializing in information technology.
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