The Agile Transition: Going Beyond Waterfall
What is an Agile Approach?
Olenick teams have seen tangible benefits from implementing an Agile approach in deploying software projects. The Agile methodology is continuous rather than sequential. Unlike the traditional Waterfall approach, which treats analysis, design, coding, and testing as discrete phases of a software project, an Agile approach can begin at the start of the project with continuous integration between development and testing under the guidance of Agile Scrum Masters.
We have found that while it takes time and effort to re-orient project teams from a Waterfall to an Agile deployment approach, the benefits can more than compensate for the investment. To achieve buy-in for the new Agile processes from deployment teams and business users, however, it is important to take time to coach them on the new methodology so they feel comfortable with it and to show them the tangible benefits of the new approach.
Why Does a Client Want to Go Agile?
An Agile approach can help the client’s software teams deploy new functionality sooner and resolve functional issues more efficiently. Olenick offers leadership and support for clients who want to transition from Waterfall to Agile approaches for their software deployments, and have seen some remarkable results. For example, one of our retail clients was experiencing long gaps between deployments, excessive wait times for new and important functionality, and delays in production defect resolution. But after adopting an Agile approach, they gained the ability to bring new software functionality to their business users in a shorter timeframe, and to resolve deployment and production functional issues more quickly.
Some key benefits of transitioning to Agile deployments include:
- Increased frequency of deployments
- 2-week sprints to support more frequent Agile deployments
- Changes make it to Production much faster
- Increased satisfaction of business users (they receive the software changes they request sooner)
- Fewer bugs after deployments, due to the more manageable scale of smaller, more frequent changes to production
- Faster turnaround with issue/defect resolution
- Increased collaboration between and within the deployment and testing teams
- Deployments are prioritized to be more in line with the business needs
Olenick Agile Expertise
Olenick has extensive Agile experience, so our clients can rely on us for guidance and insight in making the change to Agile as well as for ensuring deployment teams stay on the right path after the transition. On previous engagements, our entire teams have obtained a CSM (Certified Scrum Master) Certification to help all client team members understand Agile better and be equipped to meet any new challenges that might arise from the Agile methodology.
Our Olenick team continues to help with Agile processes throughout the Retail space and run quarterly assessments to look for improvement areas. To date we continue to lead and support our clients’ successes that result from making the change to Agile.
Contributing Editor: Eric Byville