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The 2018 Guide To Pursuing a Full Agile Software Lifecycle

Posted In Business - By Techtiplib on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 With No Comments »

Agile is a world-renowned set of philosophies and procedures used by software developers to create consistent output and a collaborative environment amongst development teams. The processes and mentality follow the highly-regarded Agile Manifesto, which assists with restructuring teams and reframing mindsets for success.

While Agile lays the groundwork for creating a long-term software lifecycle that contributes to the continuity of a business, proper implementation is essential. This guide outlines how to pursue a full Agile software lifecycle.

The 2018 Guide To Pursuing a Full Agile Software Lifecycle

Why Organizations Use Agile

For any business to be scalable, they must have strong processes and standard best practices in place. Agile provides the structure for standard operating procedures, while navigating the complexities of collaboration between the development and operations teams. With a strong DevOps protocol in place, businesses are able to continuously develop software and contribute to lengthening the software life cycle for continued success.

The most important thing to remember when implementing Agile is to start small rather than diving in head first. By starting with a few small projects and a carefully selected team, or choosing to adopt a few aspects of the Agile Manifesto at a time, businesses protect their employees from overwhelm and bottlenecks in production.

It’s worth noting that an organization is not truly Agile until they’ve adopted all the practices listed in the manifesto. This means looking beyond the jargon and DevOps-centric approach to project management and adapting the five methodologies. Remember, Agile doesn’t adapt to a business; businesses make changes to adapt to Agile.

The Five Phases of Agile

There are five key phases of implementing Agile within a business, best followed in this order:

  1. Methodology
  2. Automation
  3. Architecture
  4. Technology
  5. Infrastructure

These various phases act as goals that align with the various components of the software lifecycle. Methodology addresses planning and analysis, architecture is closely aligned with design, implementation is directly related to technology with components of methodology as well, and maintenance–as well as testing and integration– are connected to technology and infrastructure.

Methodology

Methodology is the foundation of a solid DevOps approach to business. Collaboration between developers and operations will help create a continuous feedback loop that allows for a consistent workflow between teams. By creating open communication between the teams, a business can start to implement a SCRUM workflow that clearly defines team member roles within a project. This allows the team to evolve and adapt as the rest of the business changes.

Architecture

Changing the architecture of a business is complex. It’s also the next logical step after addressing the methodology. Creating independent architecture that will be unaffected (or minimally affected) by other changes creates flexibility within the organization and reduces the fear surrounding the impact of change. At this phase, it’s essential to have strong application performance monitoring in place.

Automation

With independent architecture comes automation. The advancements made in AI and machine learning have created an opportunity to drastically reduce human error in repetitive tasks. Additionally, having automation in place mitigates busy work for DevOps teams so that they can focus on continuous development and lengthening the software development lifecycle.

Technology

After the most important changes are made, it’s time to address the software that’s in place. Many would argue that all of the efforts made up to this point are useless if the organization is lacking the technological components that make Agile possible. Assess what tools or combinations of tools are currently in use and how they can be updated or optimized for Agile. Additionally, apply critical thinking to determine how this technology ties into the overall business goals.

Infrastructure

Technology and Infrastructure go hand-in-hand. Like having the right software in place, it’s also integral to have the right hardware. This means working with third-party providers and consultants to shift toward going serverless and using the cloud or finding balance with the hybrid-cloud approach. Generally speaking, the main goal for implementing Agile-friendly infrastructure will be flexibility.

Where You Are vs. Where You’re Going

After taking time to become familiar with SCRUM and the Agile Manifesto, it’s essential for businesses to take stock of their current status in regards to becoming fully Agile. By conducting an internal process audit, organizations can determine what areas already align with Agile and where the prioritization of changes should lie.

While many organizations find the greatest success in following the phases of Agile in the order presented, others do well to address the area that needs the most work. For example, an organization who has a DevOps-esque approach in place already, might look to upgrading their infrastructure and technology before implementing automation and refining the team.

By having goals in place, and identifying the gap between where the organization is currently and where they need to be, a sustainable implementation program can be put in place to ultimately achieve a full Agile software lifecycle.

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