https://www.excelacom.com/resources/blog/agile/

Dec 09, 2014

Diving into Agile: Development Based on Business Prioritization

By Anup Abraham

Earlier this year, Excelacom began working with a major MSO to support its transition from Waterfall to Agile in its business services team. Excelacom’s newest Perspective paper, “Transitioning to Agile Software Development in a Large Technical Organization,” describes that process and explains the key lessons learned throughout.

The Waterfall software methodology long favored by large technology organizations is increasingly out of step with modern business requirements. Agile development allows for far more rapid rollouts of new products and features, speeding time to market/revenue under intense and challenging market conditions.

Agile development is sometimes reduced to the idea of delivering software in “sprints,” but it’s much more than that. Agile is an entire mindset, guided by team value and principles, and executed through many different practices (e.g., continuous integration, test-driven development, sprint planning and design spikes). Agile represents a way of thinking that embraces change, regular feedback, full-team collaboration and continuous improvement.

It can be difficult to change from old ways of doing business. As described in the Perspective paper, there are four “must haves” for achieving success with Agile:

  1. Senior, adaptable developers and architects – Team members must be able to ask and discuss implementation questions during sprint planning with a deep understanding of the issues involved. They also must identify and batch work appropriately so that resources and priorities are properly aligned and the aggressive time schedules can be met.
  2. Loose up-front requirements – High-level requirements and scope must be known from the beginning. Stakeholders must have the ability to further articulate requirements as time goes by.
  3. Committed and available stakeholders – Sprint reviews and sprint planning can take between four to six hours. These sessions are held every two weeks. Stakeholders must be willing to commit to the time needed for success.
  4. Management oversight and buy-in – Issues will arise during the transition that need to be resolved at a senior level to keep moving forward. Management commitment to change becomes crucial.

In the end, the benefits to Agile software development can be extensive, even organization-shaping. Developers, testers and end users no longer talk past each other, but instead become collaborators in a process that works more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

Agile development allows for far more rapid rollouts of new products and features, speeding time to market/revenue under intense and challenging market conditions.

 
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anup-abraham

Anup
Abraham

Mr. Anup Abraham was a Senior Manager providing management consulting for a major MSO in Philadelphia, PA. Anup Abraham joined Excelacom in 2004 as an analyst and quickly fast tracked to Manager. In 2008, he took a role as an Engagement Manager and directed a team that migrated two major Satellite Radio providers’ Supply Chain systems, guiding the new firm to profitability within a year. In this role, he reported directly to the Executive Director of the Satellite firm.

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Innovation meets performance.