Here is a great article and presentation on how SalesForce.com adopted agile development practices COMPANY WIDE.
Based on my experience with Agile, after reading the article, SalesForce.com “gets it.” It is a mind-set change of massive proportions. They point out that the key is to understand and remain true to CORE VALUES.
I like that from their presentation, they talk a lot about scrum, but the text on slide 52 show that they understand core agile principles… don’t be a slave to a single process and methodology. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t… FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION:
ADM is a modified Scrum/XP style of product development that is specific to Salesforce. It employs Scrum project management framework, adopts certain XP practices and is based on lean principles.
I also like the fact that their executive management team understood the importance and predicament they were in: (From Steve Green)
They had the choice at that time to intensify their project management practices or to go a completely different way. They decided to go an entirely different way.
With that they understood that in order to be successful it was going to take change and it was going to take a big investment in their PEOPLE:
Distributed Ken Schwaber’s Agile book
Developed 2-hour Agile overview
Sent 30 ScrumMasters to ScrumMaster Certification
Sent 35 Product Managers to Product Owner Certification
They also talk about the importance of bring in outside coaching to help. It is a big change and will take investment, commitment… but if you notice their timeline for introducing the change was relatively short. Think Big, Start Small and Go Fast.
They also talk about failing many times and taking risks and experimenting… in order to succeed. Kind of reminded me of this:
If I were ORACLE, SAP or another big ERP vendor I would be scared. If SalesForce.com continues down this track they will soon be talking about continuous delivery and will be (probably already are) light years ahead of the hosted ERP game.