Why Our Agile Approach Matters To You
At Percussion, I am fortunate to sit close to the sales team. It help me stay up to date with latest industry trends and market needs. Recently I have heard many questions surrounding agile and how it benefits prospects looking for a future forward product. Lost already? Don't worry, I'm here to help. As an agile expert, with twenty years of software development experience, I’m going to walk you through what this is and why it’s relevant to you.
The two most prevalent software life-cycles are agile and waterfall. You really have to understand the inefficient serial nature of waterfall to appreciate an agile approach. The waterfall model is a top down method in which the engineering team often works in a vacuum, producing against a dated set of requirements. This results in a long release cycle that can often last a year or more. Compounding the misery, quality assurance often happens as the very last step. The outcome of waterfall is product not arriving to market on time, little room for continual improvement / feedback, and quality control at the tail end of development. Waterfall creates a product that is obsolete before it is even released, of poor quality profile... in short shelf ware.
Agile Software Development espouses a more efficient approach.. First think of crowd-sourcing accountability to the entire team, then think of two week development cycles, add in continuous quality assurance, test driven development, tight teamwork and continuous integration... and you have our agile approach. Engineers work with the business to execute on prioritize market needs, and rapidly deliver functionality. We work as a close knit team in two week sprints to rapidly meet commitments on time and on budget. Daily standup meetings are held to monitor our progress and keep the team cohesive. We track our progress through granular metrics that account for each unit of work. The process maintains an honest transparent line of communication within the team and to the business as a whole. The use of information radiators such as burn-down charts let any of our co-workers know exactly where we are at any given point.
This process works. It demystifies engineering and allows us to develop a product that is forward looking and meets market needs. More importantly for you, our customers it allows us to incrementally improve and revolutionize our software, allowing us to put a high quality product in your hands more frequently.
Imagine if you could only update content on your website twice a year. People tell you what they want on the site all the time; however, you can’t get the changes on the site for six months. That is what waterfall software development is like. Agile suits WCM software development because just as you can't wait to make changes to your website, and we can't wait to get our customers new features and high quality software.