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An observation on Agile development

Posted On: Jan. 10, 2014

Agile Development has been slow to gain traction in larger companies already used to traditional development models. There are undoubtably many horror stories of agile projects going awry or conversely Agile being hailed as a panacea for all problems with established practices.

Having recently had great success loosely adhering to the Story based method I wanted to highlight a particular benefit i'd experienced outside of the actual development - client interaction and engagement.

Starting the project with a short timeline and a business leery by experience of a bureaucratic turnaround presented some initial challenges that were overcome with some key commitments:

-       Two week Sprint with defined and attainable goals chosen and approved by the stakeholders

o   Visible and continual progress

-       Inclusion of the entire project team in all conversations      

o   No surprises and everyone feels part of the solution

-       Embracing development before all ‘requirements’ are understood

o   Refinement is allowed

The result was a high level of engagement by all parties. The customers can see the product taking shape, they themselves are helping to iteratively build it and test as the sprints complete. Further cementing relationships was a commitment to visit in person and demonstrate all major milestones at the field locations significantly reducing perceptions of “them and us” and also “radio silence”.

Our clients are the biggest advocates of the product, they’re getting exactly what they asked for and they helped make it.

Dave T.