Recently I participated in a Webinar with Dave West of Forrester titled Eliminate Agile Deployment Bottlenecks. It was sponsored by Serena.
It was a lot of fun doing the Webinar with Dave. He brings a lot of enthusiasm as well as lots of data about trends that his research has uncovered. He is very bullish about the uptake around agile.
The point we were making is that adoption of agile has consequence downstream in deployment. The difficulties that are being experienced as the agile teams deliver faster is that the bottleneck (officially the 'constraint') moves to deployment. While this is not news to a lot of folks, it certainly is being seen as a major impediment to the adoption of agile methods. It is especially strong when multiple teams working on multiple projects that must be deployed at the same time, i.e. typical IT.
Dave used a term new to me, Scrum-Fall, to refer to this condition of agile teams, primarily using Scrum and coordinating, testing and deploying in a waterfall manner. We discussed this situation and used some Lean concepts to address the flow and the need to balance this flow. A key observation is that more/faster development just makes things worse.
This points us to Release Management and the emerging area of DevOps. Automation and earlier testing are key componets to a solution. Serena, with their range of ALM products sponsored the Webinar since they have product offerings specifically in Release Management.
You may want to check it out.