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The Agility Behind Agile Software Development

Published: June 14, 2013

Agile Misconception #1: “There is No Planning or Analysis. Just Start Coding!”

At Tribridge, we have been building custom software applications for over 13 years. Our clients select us as their partner, in no small part, because of our process. We painstakingly help our clients to plan and design custom solutions so that the project goal, budget and timeline are clear and attainable. In recent years, we have started to manage some projects using Agile methodologies. The promise of Agile is a faster return on investment, a more fluid process for handling changes and feedback and an overall more engaging experience for our clients. While discussing the pros and cons of Agile when meeting with potential clients, we often hear some misconceptions about what Agile is and how it should be implemented. With this post, and future posts, we would like to hopefully debunk those misconceptions and discuss how Tribridge has successfully implemented Agile software development projects with clear goals, budgets and timelines - just like we have always done. So here we go…

“There is no planning or analysis. Just start coding!” I hear this ALL THE TIME, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Agile Software Development

Recently, a large distribution company engaged Tribridge to design a more efficient process and software application to speed up their sales process. I, alongside of a fellow business analyst, spent the better part of three months doing nothing but business process analysis and process re-engineering. We interviewed and shadowed over 20 employees doing their daily tasks, and we identified and prioritized over 200 requirements for the application. Then our technical architect spent three weeks absorbing the requirements, outlining a technical solution, designing a database model and evaluating possible development tools. Finally, the team created an Agile development plan, which included high level milestones, complete with detailed cost and time estimates. This plan was presented to the client’s management team for discussion and approval of the development phase. And at this point, we had not written one line of code!

At this point, you might be thinking that this doesn’t sound like Agile software development. That’s because to this point, it is not. To this point, the project consisted of tried-and-true analysis and design. Once the client approved the development plan, a team was formed and it started designing, building, testing, and delivering working software every two weeks. Within three months (six development sprints), the team had completed a version that was ready to go to production.

At Tribridge, we don’t think of ourselves as software developers. We are business consultants who happen to implement custom software solutions. What differentiates us from our competition is our ability to analyze complex business problems and envision innovative solutions. We will always provide this service to our clients, no matter what methodology we use to develop our solutions. Whether we use Waterfall, Agile, Scrum, a hybrid approach, or a process yet-to-be invented, analysis and design will always remain at the core of any Tribridge service offering.

Do you have questions about Agile? Please leave your comments below, email me at steven.granese@tribridge.com, or send me a tweet @sgranese.

Steven Granese is a Senior Manager with Tribridge’s Application Development practice. He focuses on projects that use Agile Software Development practices. By using Agile, Steven is able to help his clients realize a faster return on their investment, create a clear roadmap for the future, and develop in an iterative manner which promotes continuous client feedback through the entire project.

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