Skip to main content

Agile Myths, Agile Realities

To watch the Flash version, you need Flash 8 or later, and Javascript must be enabled in your browser.

Hi, I'm Scott Ambler, Chief Methodologist for Agile and SOA at

IBM Rational.

Agile development is an approach to developing software that values ...

- consistent team collaboration,

- rapid response to change,

- ongoing customer involvement

- and frequent delivery of working software.

All agile practices flow ... from these core values.

As I work with clients around the world ... I hear many misconceptions about agile practices.

I wanted to take this opportunity to clear up a few of these false beliefs.

A common misconception is that Agile isn’t disciplined.

Let’s look at the facts.

Agile teams do more testing than traditional teams ... work more closely with their stakeholders ... and produce software in shorter time-boxes called iterations or sprints.

All of this requires tremendous discipline to succeed ... and succeed they do.

Our research shows that agile teams produce higher quality work -- and more consistently meet stakeholder needs than traditional teams.


A second misconception is that Agile doesn’t work for distributed teams.

In a survey I ran for Dr. Dobb’s Journal last year, we discovered that most teams are distributed.

If you have people working on different floors ... in different buildings on the same campus ... working from home ... or even working in different cities ... then you’ve got a distributed team.

To succeed, you’ll need to adopt practices and tooling which build team cohesion.

Rational Team Concert is our flagship offering built by -- and for -- agile teams.

It integrates source control, work item management, and build capabilities to provide a collaborative development environment for co-located or distributed teams.

It’s also one of the most successful and fastest growing products in Rational history.


A third misconception is that Agile doesn’t work for large teams.

At IBM, we regularly outfit agile teams of 200 or more members.

IBM itself is one of the world’s largest agile adoption projects ... transforming teams ranging in size from 5 to 600 team members.

What we’ve learned is that large teams must be organized differently.

They need more than index cards and whiteboard sketches.

These large agile teams are succeeding by using products like

- IBM Rational Requirements Composer for requirements modeling,

- IBM Rational Build Forge for large-scale continuous integration,

- and IBM Rational Quality Manager to support parallel independent testing.

You can learn more about agile practices by visiting the resources on your screen now.

For more information on Agility at Scale ... we encourage you to go to

Stay tuned as Rational Talks to You all year long!

Thank you for your time.



Hi, I'm Scott Ambler, Chief Methodologist for Agile and SOA at

IBM Rational.

Ever notice that the “real world” seems a little too real, these days.

Real challenges with the global economy…

Real concerns about our environment...

Real obstacles to Agile development and collaboration.

It’s at times like these I think ... who needs reality -- when you’ve got reality TV?

Especially when you’re talking about AS REAL AS IT GETS ... the 1st ever

software reality TV show.

Real teams …

Real competition …

Real software challenges.

And a real fun host -- Mitch Fatel.

Forget about fixing bugs ... Mitch is going to make people EAT the bugs.

Because reality is great ...

... when you can watch it happening to someone else ... only at this year’s IBM Rational Software Conference.

Get registered and get As Real As It Gets.

I hope to see you in Orlando on May 31st through June 4th, 2009.

Video not available.