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Addressing Process Misalignment in Large, Non-Software Companies

Addressing Process Misalignment in Large, Non-Software Companies

by Catherine Louis, by Karen Smiley

Large, non-software companies introducing Agile to their organizations tend to suffer from a cognitive dissonance of sorts: we would like to have the same look and feel across the entire company, delivering stellar-quality products, yet we want to enable high-performing, self-organizing, self-managed, and self-empowered teams to deliver (or demo) at the end of each sprint. In this Advisor, we summarize one area where this conflict becomes especially evident for large companies, particularly with non-software teams: process misalignment. We also share a potential solution that we’ve seen work in industrial practice.

Managing Objects

Managing Objects

by Vince Kellen

In statistical project management (SPM), we simplify the project management approach by eliminating many concepts that the dominant project management methodologies consider central. Objects represent a repeatable thing that non-IT people can wrap their minds around. They are supposed to be concrete, like a balance sheet report in an accounting system or an employee demographics data-entry Web form. Since objects are supposed to be repeatable, project managers and the IT organization would find it very helpful to know how long, on average, it takes teams to create and operate related objects. Thus, objects become an important list of deliverables and one that is crucial to estimate accurately. Objects represent, from the user’s perspective, the list of things that are delivered to them — a kind of a bill of materials.

Creative Process

Creative Process: Where Innovation Lives

by Michael Ackerbauer, by Matt Ganis

Design thinking is an elegant framing of problem-finding and -solving with a strong focus on delightful outcomes for the customer, while Agile practices focus on delivering the value envisioned in the design phase. This implies the two are equally essential to the team’s creative process. This Advisor describes the four steps in creative problem-solving that comprise the building blocks of innovation.


Cutting-Edge Agile II — Opening Statement

by Alistair Cockburn

Agile is spreading and changing at such a rate that we are devoting a second issue of Cutter Business Technology Journal to the topic. As with our first issue on cutting-edge Agile, the articles come from a diverse group of authors, both male and female and from different countries.


Beating Production Expectations by Embracing Agility

by Simon Orrell

This article takes us into another unexpected domain: production of energy resources. It is not obvious at the outset how embracing an Agile mindset might alter energy resource production rates, so his recounting of this story is especially interesting.


Do We Need More Transparency?

by Emilio Gutter

After outlining the benefits of his com­pany’s experiment with transparency, the author discusses the difficulties with loss of power and control, slower decision-making processes, and what he calls “frictional costs,” when ordinary workers, not specialists, are making corporate decisions. He describes his com­pany’s approach to these difficulties.

Agile HR

Agile HR: The New Way to Design Employee Experience

by Zuzana Sochova

This article describes the transition from a traditional HR world to one that fits the new culture of the Agile organization. Explore the shifts in recruiting, appraisals and reviews, salaries, and career tracks, and the difficulties facing anyone embarking on the Agile path. 

academic lab

LabScrum: A Case Study for Agility in Academic Research Labs

by Lisa May, by Tamara Runyon

This article takes agility out of its normal domain of product development into the world of research, where its use is not at all obvious. They outline the cultural blockers, note the obvious mismatches to ordinary agility, and describe how they adapted both the ceremonies of traditional agility and their own culture to form an effective final mixture.