The 2018 Guide To Pursuing A Full Agile Software Lifecycle

The term, Agile, in software development refers to a group of development processes based on solving problems through collaboration across teams. It is a framework that encourages developers to work together, stay accountable, and constantly seek improvements. Using Agile is a way to compete in a world of constant demand. 

To create products the agile way, developers have to adhere to the Agile Manifesto. The most widely-used process framework for Agile development is known as Scrum. The scrum process has its own practices which are divided into unique categories for managing even the most complex processes. With most organizations today honing in on their DevOps strategy, it’s more important than ever to stay competitive. Software needs a long lifecycle to remain relevant, impactful, and functional. Here is the 2018 guide to mastering a full Agile software lifecycle. 

What Makes Your Organization Agile?

A lot of trends today are pushing for DevOps adoption to become the new norm across companies. While this is a good first step towards productivity, it isn’t enough to make your organization fully Agile. Becoming Agile involves making changes to every stage of the software development process and you need to delve deeper into your goals, target areas, and infrastructure. 

There are 5 key areas of your organisation that need to be optimized for speed and agility:

  1. Methodology

  2. Automation

  3. Architecture

  4. Technology

  5. Infrastructure

If all of these aren’t working together, you’re not practising not full Agile. As you can expect, these changes won’t happen overnight. They’ll involve a major overhaul and collaboration efforts will be needed on all fronts. 

Steps to Improving Each Key Area

Now that you understand what makes an organization agile in the first place, let’s talk about how to do just that. What are the steps your business can take next to make these improvements across all of the key areas? You need to take a closer look at the current standing of these areas in your own organization. Some areas might require more work than others, and you need to recognize this early on. 

Methodology - Here, you want to have a lot of collaboration. This means IT and business processes need to work closely together to understand the best ways to provide value to customers. First, identify any changes you need to make to ensure communication between teams. Then, consider a Scrum-based tasklist to work on a constant flow of projects. Finally, keep learning from each other to improve. 

Automation - All businesses today need to shift their focus to automation. Manual work leads to errors and burns company time. Start these changes by recognizing how much time is spent on time-consuming tasks and identifying process steps to change or automate. Understand which existing systems are problematic by proactively monitoring system logs/alerts that are triggered with existing systems so that problem areas can be easily identified. Start with limited automation areas that reduce your overall risk of error and improves your testing speed. Create a logging system with an application like Loggly which helps you manage system errors before they happen. 

Architecture - Next, design independent and autonomous systems that are flexible and less likely to be impacted by smaller changes. Using a layered architecture is key. 

Technology - You need to choose the best software tools to get the job done. Learn which tools are worth important to solving your business problems and which aren't. Not every latest-and-greatest upgrade is going to be right for your current process.

Infrastructure - Finally, you need a flexible infrastructure to adapt to new changes quickly. This means moving to cloud services and containerization, which both grow with your organization. 

Moving to the full Agile lifecycle takes time. Using Scrum and building your architecture will put you on the path to success. In this day and age, you can’t afford to be left behind. What changes will you make today?