An Agile Journey Through Japan

Agile Development vs. Enterprise Agility in Japan’s Embedded Software Development

This week I happened to reread an article sent to me by André Girard, a Senior Analyst at VDC Research.  Interestingly, I read in on my way from Tokyo to Bangalore after a week of great meetings in Japan visiting prospects, partners and clients.  I was also in Japan to launch a major partnership in Japan with Hitachi Solutions to provide joint offerings in the DevOps IT market, as well as the embedded SW development space.  For those of you who are better than me at Japanese, take a look at the bottom of this article at some of the press we received within 8 hours of announcing this partnership on September 12th.

Andre and VDC specialize in analyzing advancements and trends in embedded software development.  In Andre’s article he sent to me, I repeatedly saw reinforcement of several of the points he made in a dozen+ meetings over 6 days:

–          Increasing interest in agile overall – at all levels of the company

–          A need to codify agile processes with tools to build repeatable processes

–          A need to have an adaptive, learning and scaling set of tools and processes

However, one difference that I saw in Japan is that agile development, although being widely adopted, is still being driven bottom up. In sharp contrast, in Europe and the US, agile and more importantly “business agility” has almost become an executive strategic imperative.   Towards that end and to strong interest, CollabNet recently codified our 15 years of experience in helping companies transform from distributed and isolated to agile, collaborative and leveraged into a straightforward and practical “Blueprint for Enterprise Agility”, based on the open and adaptive CollabNet TeamForge platform.

This Blueprint for business agility was quite an eye opener for the clients and prospects we met with in Japan.  The reason is that executive awareness and focus on overall enterprise agility is not yet the case in many traditional companies in Japan, where senior management is still struggling with their more structured ways of working across an organization.  CollabNet’s partnership with Hitachi is geared at accelerating this IT and embedded SW development transformation in Japan from developer driven agile development activities to executive results focused business agility.

On a positive side, I did see this executive awareness of the need for organizational wide agility in some of the younger Japanese companies.  If the press and strong reception we received at multiple large companies is any indication, the market in Japan may be waking up to what we are already seeing in other parts of the world.

Also, be sure to join me Thursday September 17th for a webinar on How To Scale Application Development & Delivery Across the Enterprise.  You can register here.


PS.  And for those fluent in Japanese, or just want to look at the pictures, read on!

Bill Portelli

Bill Portelli is Chairman of the Board and cofounder of CollabNet. Bill has been a business innovator in open source, globally distributed software development and on-demand provisioning since the late '90s. Bill's background includes 30+ years of experience in creating businesses and driving startups to rapid growth through to successful IPO and acquisition, as well as executive staff leadership in billion dollar companies. He has consistently conceived of and led teams to deliver client-enabling IT strategies, products and services in both the hardware and software industries. In recognition of his accomplishments as a leader in global software development, Bill was honored at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, with the Technology Pioneer Award in 2010.

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Posted in Agile, DevOps/CI, TeamForge

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