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Agile is Better

Author: Scott B

Agile. The term implies speed and flexibility, and for web and application development, agility is key.

At wisnet, we are increasingly employing the Agile Scrum process. Agile is an iterative and incremental software development methodology, and Scrum is the cycle of continuous planning, testing and integration that continually evolves both our projects and applications.

Compared to traditional waterfall (serial development) processes, Agile is lightweight and considerably more adaptable. Its empowers people to collaborate and make decisions together quickly and effectively.

  • Agile makes it easier to estimate project duration and milestones
  • Agile accelerates the delivery of initial business value to you
  • Agile teams continuously align the delivered software with your desired business needs
  • Agile teams easily adapt to changing requirements throughout the process
  • Agile ensures that value is continuously maximized throughout development

The Scrum process calls for regular planning and review meetings.

Each project starts with a Strategy Meeting, where your product vision is shared with the project team and logistics are discussed and agreed upon. Our team will assemble business case and product vision, write user stories (in the format “As a [user], I want to [action], so that [value].”) to create an initial product backlog, schedule incremental and major releases, and define “done”. The process may take several hours or days.

Your project lead then joins our team to define themes, functional priorities and delivery dates for the first product release. During this Release Planning meeting, a release backlog is created from the initial batch of user stories written in the Strategy Meeting and estimated at a high level. Additionally, a preliminary delivery plan is outlined (it will be revised over time). Your project lead is responsible for reviewing, clarifying and approving the product vision, strategy, goals, milestones and dates, and initial backlog.

After the release is planned, the development team begins a series of two week development Sprints. Each Sprint starts with a Sprint Planning meeting, where team members discuss and select the stories or backlog items they are confident they can complete during the iteration and identify the detailed tasks and tests for delivery and acceptance.

Two keys to successful Agile development and product value are review and continuous improvement. Our team holds a short (15 minutes) Stand Up meetings every day to share:

  • what each member did since the last meeting,
  • what each member plans to do before the next gathering, and
  • what, if any, hurdles are impeding your progress.

Every Sprint is followed by a Sprint Review meeting where you, as the product owner, ensure that all acceptance criteria of the work completed have been met. Our team will demonstrate the functionality completed during the Sprint and note necessary tweaks.

To ensure continuous improvement in our processes and deliverables, we conclude each project with a Retrospective meeting, where we evaluate our performance together. The goal of the meeting is to inspect and adapt our practices in an effort to identify and take action on key issues that impede our progress or health.

Through the use of Agile development, wisnet is able to provide our clients with visibility throughout the full course of the project, adapt to changing requirements and environments quickly and before time is wasted developing irrelevant code, add business value early and throughout the project, and eliminate risks that stem from lack of, poor or late communication or information.

When it’s time to automate your next process, develop your next application or construct a new web portal, you can count on wisnet to deliver incredible product value and customer service.

VersionOne. (2013, February 20). Resources: Getting Started with Agile. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from VersionOne: Agile Made Easier: http://www.versionone.com/agile-resources/agile-implementation/

VersionOne® . Agile Made Easier. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2014, from VersionOne Product Blog: http://www.versionone.com/agile101/agile_development.asp