Agile methodology is the defacto development and deployment for organizations determined to deliver best in class products in a constantly improving stream. IT has put systems in place to assist devs in their activities but there hasn’t been a way to evaluate those activities in relation to their business value. Apptio’s new application, “Apptio Agile Insights” is set to deliver deep understanding of the values agile processes bring so IT leaders can make better informed decisions about budgeting and staffing allocations.

Old school budgeting

Gartner reports in its “Agile in the Enterprise” survey that 87 percent of organizations continue to apply annual budgeting processes to their agile processes. This may be a simple case of "this is how we’ve always done it,” but more likely because organizations don’t have the tools needed to fully understand agile costs and their contribution to delivering on company objectives. According to Gartner only 20 percent of survey respondents are tracking agile techniques and applying their results to labor capitalization.

Technology Business Management (TBM) has risen to the level of science because IT and the services and products it delivers have become critically important to nearly every business. Managing spend is part of the TBM ethos and understanding how Agile impacts business outcomes is at the center of TBM. "Agile is one of the reasons TBM has been successful and important to us," said Wayne Shurts, Sysco's executive vice president and CTO. "It's just a matter of knowing where our money is going, and then being able to find out, 'Is that the best place to spend? Is there a better way to do that?' That is what has resulted in savings."

Integrating actions with results

Technology leaders have adopted tools to assist them in managing the work performed as Agile processes using Agile Application Lifecycle Management (Agile ALM) systems like JIRA, Microsoft TFS, VersionOne, and CA Rally. But as good as those systems are at tracking and managing the work process they don’t integrate with financial systems. Apptio Agile Insights connects the dots between Agile ALM systems and the enterprise financial information to give IT leaders the tools the need to understand agile team activities and how they contribute to costs and outcomes. Managers using Apptio Agile Insights can better understand how different spend patterns affect outcomes and are better able to direct budgeting of agile activities in more agile-appropriate ways.

“Businesses are charged today with delivering higher quality products for their end users, at a faster pace than their competitors and before customers even voice a need. To feed this constant state of improvement and iteration, many organizations are adopting Agile as a solution” said Theo Beck, Apptio’s EVP of Products and Engineering. “However, when we talk to customers, we often hear about the challenges Agile poses to organizational culture, ensuring alignment with the business, and the ability to track financial return on investments and Agile development. Agile Insights helps ensure investments ladder back to business outcomes.”

Apptio Agile Insights is in an Early Adopter program that will be made generally available later this year.

 

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