Today more than ever, companies need to be efficient and flexible. They need to be able to respond to changing market conditions and customer needs within weeks, not months. A faster, less risky, more nimble development approach is needed.
Agile software development has become widely embraced because:
- Software in development costs money and does not produce business value. By producing a better product faster, organizations are minimizing development time and maximizing return on investment (ROI).
- Minimizing defects can reduce costs. The longer it takes to discover a defect, the more costly it becomes to fix it.
- By engaging the business and delivering functionality in an iterative manner, companies are able to ensure that the business gets what the business needs.
The immediate value of agile is fairly obvious: Software delivered better, faster, and cheaper. Its growth since its formal introduction in 2001 has been explosive, with 35 percent of all software projects leveraging some form of agile approach. However, agile is still a tool. And, like all tools, used incorrectly it can result in greater harm than good. Furthermore, many agile critics complain that the agile approach is not rigorous enough for corporate America’s IT organizations.
For larger organizations looking to leverage agile concepts but struggling to make them work within their environment, Centric has created our “Agile for the Enterprise” approach. “Agile for the Enterprise” is authentic agile tailored to allow for the restrictions found in larger organizations. Centric’s approach still adheres to the fundamental tenets of agile – the difference lies in how it’s applied and deployed. Centric’s agile approach also allows for predictable, metrics-driven delivery of functionality on time and on budget.
Centric designed our Agile Assessment offering to help optimize agile efforts, which includes offering a third-party assessment of agile success and recommendations on efficient ways to derive more value from the team. One of our agile coaches will assess project goals and output, identify gaps and present clients with alternative best practices.
Centric has developed an internal two-day training course that covers all aspects of an agile project from initiation through delivery. At the end of this course, students will have run through all aspects of an agile project by participating in hands-on workshops and breakout sessions. The end result will be a deeper tactical understanding of how to run an agile team and a solid foundation from which to start.
If a company has already committed to doing an agile project and is looking for guidance, Centric can provide one of our agile coaches to function as part of a client team. In addition, Centric can provide highly skilled agile practitioners in the areas of product management, agile analysis, development and quality assurance. Best practices such as effective story development, Test Driven Development (TDD), Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD), pair programming, continuous integration and functional test automation can be critical to the success of any agile endeavor.
Our coaches will provide insight and guidance while the team gains valuable hands-on experience. Coaches can be embedded full time or a custom schedule can be developed to provide consistent touch points where it makes the most sense for the team(s).
Leveraging an Iteration Manager (IM) and internal resources, Centric can introduce agile concepts and train teams all while delivering an in-flight project. We leverage our “Agile for the Enterprise” approach to take the ambiguity out of agile delivery. Our IM will handle reporting and expectation management to those outside the team room and provide guidance and an escalation point to those in it.
Centric can help staff an agile project with experienced practitioners or place an entire team. This offering affords clients the opportunity to see how agile works in their environment while delivering value and training their resources.
Centric can help companies who have made a commitment to an agile approach but have not seen efforts yield the kind of ROI expected. Our experienced agile experts assess what is working and identify opportunities for improvement. Working side-by-side with the team, we will craft an action plan that improves delivery efficiency.
Centric can help companies increase velocity in their existing teams. We can not only augment teams, but can staff them with experienced agile developers, business analysts and testers who draw from past experiences and provide new perspectives.
Agile Check Up
Even if a company has an agile practice in place with project teams running smoothly, a few considerations still exist. What methods or tools have been introduced into the marketplace? What benefits are happening in the agile community of which the company is unaware? With Centric’s Agile Checkup, we revisit previous clients, review progress and current team status, provide feedback and make recommendations based on current agile best practices, ensuring that agile development efforts are optimized.