Agile software development is not the end of traditional development, and it’s certainly not the end of your in-house methodologies. This myth is one of several that surround the adoption of Agile. The reality is that Agile has an incremental impact on application lifecycle management (ALM).
A recent paper written by IT Central Station led to four best practice recommendations for improving application delivery, based on insights from real users:
- Create a combination of Traditional and Agile in the process
- Implement enterprise Agile frameworks
- Integrate Agile and DevOps
- Focus on business value
When businesses utilize technologies built for application lifecycle management, DevOps focuses on what is most important.
Agile methodologies used by startups are not good models for enterprise, but Agile is a popular movement, and there can be some pressure to adopt it. It’s happening on some level of nearly every organization. However, the traditional way still dominates most companies adopting Agile. This conflict results in slower adoption, especially if people in the organization aren’t on board with the change.
In and of itself, Agile does not automatically accelerate application delivery: it’s more a way of thinking that leads to a nuanced approach. The idea is to build on what your organization is already doing that’s working well. That includes utilizing old and new technologies as you navigate change.
The most likely outcome is a hybridization of Waterfall and Agile methodologies, wherein teams scale their practices up within a more structured framework such as the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). There are several ways to accomplish this while promoting collaboration across multiple teams in various stages of Agile adoption.
Combining Agile and Traditional Development
Agile will not fundamentally lead to better outcomes, but it’s an important component in application delivery transformation. Instead, organizations are discovering that a mix of traditional and Agile methodologies create better results.
Some teams will continue staggering live releases with longer windows while using Agile practices to help with quality assurance. Teams are also finding flexible toolsets invaluable during these transitions. The combination of traditional project management with certain Agile concepts or applications (such as Agile Manager) leads to new project insights.
Implementing Enterprise Agile Frameworks
One of the most popular frameworks for Agile at scale is the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). Additionally, as one Process Owner observed, the applications a team uses matter. His personal experience highlighted the importance of a lightweight tool built on Agile methodology.
Agile is about combining the right thinking with the right practical implementation. In practice, That might mean combining insights to share with teams from around the world, creating tools to improve collaboration (especially across time zones), or adopting tool sets that bring value to the enterprise.
Agile and DevOps
DevOps, or the combination of software development and IT operations, is one of the best fits for an Agile methodology. Rather than having one team to finish the code and another team to release, DevOps combines both.
In practice, teams get faster testing and improved deployment from a streamlined process. Teams accomplish more at a faster rate when their work is bolstered by Agile management applications.
Focusing on Business Value
Ultimately, if the business isn’t benefiting, the transition is destined for failure. There are multiple ways to look at value, only one of which is a hard money return. Improved value might mean better collaboration between a project’s stakeholders, or compatibility across versions of an application.
Value is sometimes about creating or speaking the same “language.” Agile methodologies should help to standardize processes and create a better working environment. The value may manifest as dollars saved on development, or in a better overall adoption/deployment process.
Managing Application Delivery Transformation
There is no single element that guarantees or precludes a successful adoption of Agile. A combination of methodologies, and sometimes even applications, is required for introducing higher quality into the application lifecycle.
As a result, Agile might mean something different for every team. One might standardize traditional development practices for easy implementation, while another focuses on collaboration. Overall, the benefit of Agile lies in having these technologies and ideas functioning as one.
For more information, download the full report, Four Best Practices for Application Delivery Transformation.
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