Agile development transforms software delivery

20 Oct 2010

Agile Development is transforming the way software is delivered to today’s organisations, resulting in always having working software and delivering production quality software every one to four weeks, compared to traditional models.

“The focus is switched to having motivated, skilled and focused flexible teams working together and taking joint ownership to deliver business value rather than micro-managed plan driven development where the responsibility baton is handed from team to team,” Ken Brennock, principal consultant, Sogeti Ireland, told the Agile Tour 2010 conference in Dublin.

Brennock said that working software that adds value to the end user rather than a set of deliverables that managed the process should be the priority and that agile development allowed the organisation to respond to change rather than religiously following a plan.

Few plans survive first contact with business users

“To paraphrase a military saying, few plans survive first contact with the business user, which is why most traditional software implementations fail.”

He said that agile placed the focus on the end user and software adding business value, not just delivering “requirements”. It delivered chunks of high-value, well engineered, working software often and this allowed the end user to modify and re-prioritise features throughout the project life cycle.

However, he said that the key to implementing successful agile development and to axing software implementation times was to put testing at the heart of the process.

“Testing is the key that unlocks successful agile implementation as it allows rapid progress and demonstrates that the system is working properly to the needs of the user.”

In conclusion, Agile has changed the way software is being delivered as IT is now supplied in smaller increments of weeks to allow changes to be made during the life cycle rather than in the past where longer projects took 18-24 months to complete before making modifications.

Sogeti was the Irish sponsor of the global Agile Tour 2010.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years