The Appirio Way: Doing Agile

January 24, 2018 Katie brown and Yashas Saxena

Last week we defined Agile as a collection of methodologies that emerged from the 4 Key Values and  12 Principles from the Agile Manifesto. From these basic principles and values,  Agile software development practices continue to grow and evolve, including The Appirio Way. Now that you know about the foundations of Agile and the guiding principles of the Appirio Way, let’s take a look at some of the common methodologies under the Agile umbrella, as well as some of the influencing tactics of the Appirio Way.

Scrum - The most popular Agile practice framework, and many times (incorrectly) thought to be a required Agile process.  Scrum establishes a product backlog (feature requirements), sprints, scrums, Scrum Master, and Product Owner. The core of its framework is iterative, incremental development sprints, and prioritization of the backlog.

Crystal Methodologies - Is also a collection of methodologies. Its main focus is to provide a tailored framework, based on team size and project criticality. There is high user involvement, frequent delivery of software, and removal of complexity and bureaucracy. The Crystal methods also employs frequent team reflection  to look for ways to improve.

Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM) - This framework was designed in the mid-1990’s to provide standardization and predictability to the popular Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach software development. This approach utilizes iterations, high user involvement (seeing a theme here yet?), the 80/20 rule for feature acceptance, and “MoSCoW” rules for prioritization (Must have, Should have, Could have, Won’t have).

Feature Driven Development (FDD) - This feature centric process offers a basic, bare bones model that’s built and put through very short iterations, small features are layered on the model. FDD is effective for large project teams utilization, due its very prescriptive iteration steps applied per feature (i.e. Domain Walkthrough, Design, Design Inspection, Code, Code Inspection, and Promote to Build.)

Lean Software Development - This framework originated from the Lean Manufacturing principles developed by Toyota in the 1930’s. Its focus is to provide a framework that maximizes value, efficiency, and eliminates waste. Lean classifies things like multitasking, extra features, partially built features, and delayed testing/deployment as waste.  

Kanban - Also shares its origin with Lean. Kanban boards (or “bins”) were used by Toyota to manage their supply chain. In software development, Kanban provides a visual system to manage day to work and priorities. User Stories/Features, or tasks, are posted on the Kanban board, and as time permits, team members pull the item and work on it to completion. Then the next highest priority item is pulled. Kanban is applied in Lean and Scrum (sometimes referred to as “Scrumban”).

eXtreme Programming (XP) - This principle is all about high-speed and high-quality. This framework promotes four values and 12 supporting principles. (Sound familiar?) This methodology is useful for constantly changing in requirements, or when the customer cannot define the functionality of the system. Like many of the practices above, XP focuses on close customer collaboration, teamwork, user story prioritization, and short iterations. But XP also provided concepts used widely today, like Test Driven Development, Planning Poker, and Continuous integration.

The Appirio Way - This methodology was born and raised in the cloud. With over ten years of practice, bringing millions of users to the cloud, The Appirio Way methodology provides a proven approach to software development. This framework combines the best tactics from the Agile practices above and lessons learned from thousands of successful implementations across many industries.

The Appirio way employs iterative development in short sprints where prioritized user stories are assigned and development teams work closely with customers to build, test and demonstrate. Initial sprints are focused on getting the core data model correct, then features are layered in subsequent sprints. Every sprint ends with features approved, tested, and deployed, and the team retrospective. The work of development teams is supported by tools like — Appirio’s Cloud Management Center, where work is collaborative, progress is visual, and assets are efficient and available, and  AppirioDX,  our DevOps toolkit supports continuous delivery, automated testing and code quality tools.

But one of the most valuable aspects of the Appirio Way is it never “rests.”  We analyze feedback and project performance, looking for helpful tools, techniques, and training approaches to keep The Appirio Way a modern, effective, and easy choice for our customers.

Want to learn more about the Appirio Way and how it can help you become more Agile? Check out our Virtuous Cycle Diagnostic and engage with our Worker and Customer Experience experts to start your journey.

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