Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Agile elevator pitch

My (our) entry in the Agile elevator pitch competition:

“[Agile] Provides philosophy, techniques and tools to alleviate the pain of traditional development and make teams more effective thus increase your profit.

Companies such as the BBC, GE Energy, Yahoo, the Financial Times, The Guardian and others have already adopted the approached.”

As some people know, I’ve been doing a lot of work in Cornwall recently. This involves working with a variety of companies all involved in software development - from online e-commerce website builders to companies creating embedded software for medical devices.

My partner in this endeavour, Michael Barritt of Oxford Innovation and Grow Cornwall, suggested we really need an elevator pitch statement for what all this Agile is about. The above is our result.

Of course this is context specific. Too many senior managers this is irrelevant because they don’t know anything about software development. At that kind of level Agile itself becomes meaningless because it is a solution to a problem which they know nothing about. And actually, they don’t want to know about.

There is always a danger with Agile elevator pitches, or any other type of elevator pitch, that it just becomes “Will increase your return on investment.” At some point such pitches become meaningless, you don’t know if the product will fix your software development issues, cure cancer or make you tea in the morning.

So what do you think?
Got a better one?

1 comment:

  1. Who are you pitching it to?
    You say yourself that the type of people who are interested in "return on investment" or "increase your profits" will be unable or unwilling to join the dots to the "philosophy, techniques and tools".

    I think you'll get greater integrity if you identify who you are pitching it to and couch it in terms meaningful to them.

    Sounds like you know all this and just want reassurance. Consider this it :-)

    My version (OTTOMH - not given this much thought) could be:

    "[Agile] Provides philosophies, techniques and tools that mitigate the pain of traditional development and make teams more effective by identifying and avoiding incorrect strategies and maintaining focus that can be aligned with business goals".

    If I had more time I could make it shorter ;-)


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