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3 Things to Know About Agile Development

The rapidly accelerating pace of technology change and a desire to achieve a competitive edge are forcing a growing number of organizations—and CIOs—to re-evaluate the conventional approach of simply tossing resources at various enterprise projects and challenges. Agile development, which puts software development on the front burner—focusing on broader and deeper collaboration along with a more iterative approach—has emerged as a key business and IT strategy.

That’s Samuel Greengard for CIO Insight describing the aspects and advantages of what is becoming software development’s most popular methodology.  Yet as CIOs adopt agile strategies en masse, there is also a growing need to address some common blind spots that crop up during implementation of the agile process. Summarized from Greengard’s article, AITS locates three general misconceptions about agile’s nature and usage.

Continuous Delivery

Many organizations tend to overemphasize the advantages of speed and agility while overlooking the central concept of continuous delivery. In many cases, that crucial function is aptly delivered by cloud applications, which provide the perfect environment for iterative development. Using cloud software, updates come quickly in small “packets.” But more importantly, they come often.

Reverse Thinking

Some IT leaders struggle with the idea that agile is a bottom-up process. Being used to older models of delivery, they wrestle with the full importance of a low-overhead approach that relies on continual customer feedback. To that end, it’s important for managers to embrace a reversal of the typical thinking. Rather than changing a project schedule to meet a fixed scope and resources, scope and resources are adjusted to accommodate a fixed schedule.

Agile – Redesigned

It is also possible to be too literal in one’s interpretation of the agile method. Many experts note the difficulty in adapting agile strategy to projects that involve remote collaboration between software development teams. What’s more, the changing dynamic of software development as a discipline requires a new business-centric model and involves rethinking roles, skill sets, and operating conventions.

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About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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