The methodology of agile development can improve efficiency, communication, and compliance when applied to difficult IT projects. An agile approach may be difficult to implement because in its purest form it does not take into consideration the reality of the work environment including; funding issues, stake holders, legal issues, accounting and regulatory regulations. Given this, there are many concepts to understand and misconceptions to avoid when working to implement agile practices into your enterprise.

Don’t Forget About Up Front Requirements

A common misconception is that enterprise agile means less focus on requirements. Determining upfront requirements is still a necessary function however, the complexity and detail of these decisions is limited. In an agile environment, these decisions are less detailed to be more efficient. The requirement areas that cannot be overlooked are establishing: the business’ objectives and rules, who the stake holders are, an analysis of business processes, the scope of the solution, a business case and ensuring adequate project funding. These requirements serve as the foundation of the project and are essential to managing the future of the project.

Avoid Defining Needs Based Entirely on User Stories

While user stories can be valuable in determining a business’s needs, they are unable to do so entirely. User stories can provide great information from the user’s view, however, there are other perspectives to take into consideration. The perspective of stakeholders, managers and executives as well as those creating and supporting the application will all be different. Given this, an agile organization doesn’t rely solely on user stories in defining business needs.

Don’t Entirely Rely on User Stories to Evaluate Compliance and Audit

User stories cannot be used solely to determine an application’s effectiveness. They lack concrete information and traceability. Compliance and audit requirements demand consistent and traceable data. Automated requirement technology is a great method of achieving this. This technology would then be used to evaluate the project at every stage.

Most Business Decisions Remain the Same

Another misconception about enterprise agile is that it will completely change the way a business is managed. This is not the case as most management decisions in an agile enterprise environment are the same as they would be in a traditional environment. The difference is that different information is used to make decisions. The data is more efficient and targeted, resulting in quicker and more effective decision making.

Business Analysis is Still Important

Business analysis remains an important function in and agile environment. The collection of data and subsequent analysis results in improved processes and operations as well as greater cost efficiency. This analysis is absolutely necessary because it evaluates the business requirements and their relationship to the business process as well as provides a strategic plan for the future.

Code and Tests Lack Information

Don’t be tricked into thinking that application codes and tests are the only information needed by stakeholders and management. Codes and tests provide valuable information but that information is limited. They are unable to expand upon why the application was implemented and miss all of the communication surrounding its implementation. Here is where business analysis comes into play because it can provide insight into the history behind the application and how it came to be. Analyzing this piece can speed up the completion of projects by avoiding having to repeat them.

Requirements Software is Necessary

The enterprise agile methodology is most effective when supported by a requirements application. This application should be specifically developed for agile environments and ideally will merge the entire business with the agile development group. This type of application supports business analysis and improved processes.

EKI Digital has worked with businesses of all sizes, and in various industries to help them benefit by designing, and deploying technical solution leveraging Agile as a tool to improve how their business, run, grow and transform. If you would like to learn more about this service please contact us at Info@eki-digital.com.

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