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IBM gives Services staff until 2019 to get agile

'Agile Ceremonies', Slack instead of email, but still some red tape to cut through

Exclusive IBM has told its Services workers to get agile – as in the development practice, not as in yoga – by the end of the year.

Internal documents seen by The Register inform IBMers of a new program called: "New ways of working - Agile Values and Practices." This latest effort calls for all Big Blue services staff to quickly complete a course titled "A taste of agile." Managers must complete another course called "Agile leadership & strategy."

Kanban tools have been introduced to project teams, and workers are expected to attend "agile ceremonies." By June 30, employees are all expected to have self-assessed as having attained "level two practicing (active use of agile practices)."

IBM has spent years telling the world that its Notes suite is as fine a collaboration environment as there is to be found anywhere, if only you'd give it a chance and appreciate its charms. But among the changes required to demonstrate agility is cessation of email use in favour of devops darling Slack. Staff are also expected to start using WebEx.

Come September 30, IBM wants its services staff to have hit level-three agility maturity, and to see "positive trending of agile metrics." Come December 30, Big Blue wants "continuous improvement leading to client advocacy."

IBM bosses are clearly very keen on becoming more agile. Whether the corporation can walk the talk is another matter: staff have been told they need to ask a manager before they'll be given access to WebEx or the Slack channel to offer feedback on the ongoing effort to attain greater agility. ®

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