24 Mar

Software Development: Transition from Traditional to Agile Method

Software Development:Transition from Traditional to Agile Method

The current situation

Organizations use close to one third to half of their entire IT funds for application development and therefore their success or failure influences the organization capability to do well in the industry. Big project generally endure from issues such as schedule infested, fund overruns, short of appropriate coordination amongst the scattered teams along with quickly varying market situation that result in changing requirements. The three most essential stages in an application development method are requirements analysis, development and testing which in a conventional process goes through handoffs from a business analyst to a development team to a testing team with every team accountable only for their part. A lot coordination problem and confusions comes up with the raise in complexity and magnitude of projects.

Why Agile is better?

This is where Agile methodology of application development has upper hand over conventional development model. Agile method basically believes that industry is vibrant and therefore needs are bound to vary and so recommends a closely knit cross functional squad where the business analyst, development and testing team with product owner are accountable for the complete product development cycle.

More time to market: Agile teams are more fruitful than conventional teams because there are no hand-offs, teams are functioning concurrently on different issues and they bring product functionality incrementally so the organization need not wait till the end for a delivery.

Better communication: To diminish communication issues the team meets regularly throughout agile process such as planning, daily status, review and retrospective with a appropriate objective for every meeting.

Better quality: Agile incremental development implements methods such as constant integration, Test driven development, Pair programming which leads to early detection of flaws and therefore enhance quality at the end of every iteration.

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How organizations can changeover?

For any company which has been following traditional application development model for more than a decade, it is more about altering the team approach on how to think in a different way about development. The transition need not be a completely upside down approach but a mutual way where top management provides the vision, necessitate for the change and resources to sustain the changeover like training etc.

Big Bang approach or a pilot project:

Organizations can start agile methodology across the projects, get teams trained, appoint external consultants and communicate evidently that the company is decisive about the plan and therefore decrease the consequence of wind blowing in reverse direction. But the flipside could be that several teams might make the same error at first and everybody has to gain knowledge of it by doing it themselves. A pilot project on the other hand will begin tiny, get the work done and enlarge it to bigger teams by communicating the achievement of the project to the remaining teams. The flipside could be that the breakdown of the project can brutally discomfit the top management and provide reasons to other teams against agile. Also a pilot can assist in growing the understanding of scrum in the company, boost the success possibility and reduce lower the expense of going big bang.

Work together:

Agile method believes individuals and interactions over procedures and techniques. Business analysts, development and testing teams should concentrate on communication and dialogue than on application development tools and procedure. Teams must work together regularly on status, concerns, and debate rather than investing time in documentation. Gradually collaboration should turn into corporate culture.

Set up an Enterprise Transition Office:

An Enterprise Transition Office is a team which promotes a smooth changeover to agile by building atmosphere favourable to change and by leading teams embrace agile rather than forcing them by making a lot of rules to be followed. The ETO can be formed with participation of VP of engineering, Quality & development Head. Some of the accountabilities of ETO can making arrangement for training scrum master and product owners, gather case studies and circulate the team success, get rid of any hindrance encountered by teams in following agile model such as barrier from sales or marketing etc.

Support from other Teams:

For a company to go agile it is just not enough that only the software team be agile while the other support functions such as finance, marketing, sales, and HR maintain status-quo. For instance: Agile projects are mutual and are more team oriented than individual and thus HR needs to find out a way to evaluate and reward the team performance as a whole. Likewise Sales should modify how they promise releases in the contracts with customers to support agile model. For example, sales team can recommend to release new and features on regular basis rather than a huge pool of releases for every 6-12 months.