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Microsoft is Adopting a More Agile Approach

by Savita Pahuja on Sep 12, 2014 |

Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft Corporation, is preaching a more nimble approach of agile implementation to build software as part of the company’s transformation. The company’s focus is to lower costs and hone operations, mentioned by Clint Boulton, Staff Reporter at The Wall Street Journal in his recent blog.

In the memo Nadella noted:

First, will simplify the way we work to drive greater accountability, become more agile and move faster. As part of modernizing our engineering processes the expectations we have from each of our disciplines will change. In addition, we plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making. This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers. In addition, our business processes and support models will be more lean and efficient with greater trust between teams.

Nadella says in agile development, programmers rapidly write and deliver functional code in two to four weeks, a departure from the “waterfall” method of building software over several months or years.

Nadella told Bloomberg that it makes more sense to have developers test and fix bugs instead of a separate team of testers to build cloud software.

Merv Adrian, Vice President at Gartner says about Microsoft move to agile as:

Microsoft’s move to agile is the inevitable consequence of moving to the cloud, where vendors are expected to provide constant software updates.

Nadella focused on the company’s transformation to reinvent productivity in a mobile-first and cloud-first world. For this he motivates the movement of agile adoption to the next level.

Al Hilwa, Program Director at IDC, said that Microsoft will likely integrate teams of quality assurance testers with software developers to accelerate its programming processes.

They’re re-engineering the engineering by going to a more agile development.

According to Massoud Marzban, VP of Business Development‏ at Burnside Digital:

Microsoft would do well to adopt an agile approach in how they go forward. It not only accelerates the process of software development it requires fewer people, produces more solid applications and for us it has meant much faster times to market.

Microsoft’s strategy shift makes sense because companies can no longer afford to wait two to three years to deliver software to market, said Sanjib Sahoo, CTO of tradeMONSTER Group Inc., which uses agile to build its online brokerage software. He said companies are getting beaten because they can’t produce things faster.

A couple of weeks ago Microsoft posted series of videos, each just a couple of minutes long, in which employees of Microsoft from Developer Division discuss the transition. Here's a link to the entire series on YouTube. Doug Seven, ALM Product Strategist for Visual Studio in the Microsoft Developer Division wrote a blog post about the video series and the transformation.

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