Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Agile

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

Like this article? We recommend

Incremental Agile Implementation

I used to be a rabid opponent of incremental implementation of agile processes. I even posted a warning against it at my web site. I've become more flexible as I've come to understand the degree of change required by agile processes and the reluctance of people to change without personally compelling reasons. I still work project by project in these organizations, but most of my effort is to help the people involved in the project—the customers, businesspeople, and developers—to want to change. I do this by several methods:

  • Downplay the agile process. These people aren't interested in something new; they're quite comfortable. Any training is academic. Let's talk about their project, not the agile process.

  • Play up the use of specific agile practices to solve point problems. Where are these people having problems, right then and there? Solve these problems by implementing a specific practice. If code quality is a problem, implement test first, followed by code or frequent builds. If analysis-paralysis is a problem, implement incremental, iterative delivery of code. If customer involvement is a problem, introduce a prioritized product backlog with incremental review of functionality.

  • Simplify the implementation and use of the agile practices. Conduct sessions in which the immediate problems are worked through by using the agile practices. Show people how they will work on the problem in a new way—a way that's productive and helpful right then. Since they aren't aware of their overall pain caused by dysfunctional practices, help them solve the pain that they know, that they feel right then. Each agile practice is a point tool to solve a specific problem.

Some examples:

  • At one organization, user departments were discontented with the workflow system being built by IT. Everyone wanted something different, and they were all going to be unhappy if they didn't get it. The developers were frustrated because they felt they could never capture all of the requirements. The users were frustrated because they weren't getting anything. I had them start meeting monthly. The users presented to the developers their most pressing problems. Then the users and developers mutually brainstormed about what problems the developers could solve over the next thirty days. The developers came back thirty days later and showed the users what they had accomplished. The users and developers collaborated. Without knowing the terminology, they nonetheless started using a prioritized product backlog, self-organization, emergence, and incremental product delivery. They became partners in a joint effort to solve user problems.

  • At another organization, IT development was divided into analysis and development. The analysts had moved ahead and completed some use cases and object models. I had the developers form into agile teams to turn these artifacts into working functionality. The teams weren't truly cross-functional, since much of the analysis was already done. I had the customer prioritize the artifacts into a functionality list that drove the development teams. The developers incrementally built the product, letting the detailed architecture and design emerge. The developers avoided having to understand everything to proceed. All they needed to know was what would keep them going for the next thirty days. Again, emergence, self-organization, and incremental delivery were implemented.

I know. This isn't elegant. This implementation style doesn't show that the old way is wrong. The organization doesn't even understand the underlying reason why the new approach works better than the old approach. But they know that something feels better. They want to know more. They begin to trust that the agile processes may be worthwhile. They become willing to try more change. My role then becomes that of a mentor. I help them identify and solve new problems with agile practices. I help them devise organizational strategies around these agile practices. As pain in one area is addressed, I help them see other areas where they could improve. I then work with them to implement agile practices in those areas, focusing on solving the problem rather than implementing a methodology.

The desired end result is organization using agile processes and realizing all of the benefits we've come to know. When agile processes are implemented piecemeal to solve problems, improvements occur. Compared to other projects, the agile project stands out. The results are dramatic. The teams are glad to come to work. The customers are delighted and tell their friends. Change becomes a pull from the customer rather than a push into the customer. This is only possible, however, by building trust through small successes.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020