Most organizations are trying to adopt Agile in their daily functioning, for different objectives – it could be to develop products and services, or to gain operational efficiency. The Agile manifesto was published almost two decades ago, and it’s still prominent for marketing, operation, and HR teams. But, is “Agile” the best framework for IT operations? This has been a much-debated topic; let’s see how Agile works for frictionless IT operations.
Agile for IT Operations
The Agile methodology is intended to simplify complex projects, and IT operations or software development is not different from this. It is a set of policies and values that organizations attempt to follow every day, and it can be changed to fit the requirements of the project. In software, teams often use a framework like Scrum or Kanban for product development.
In certain scenarios, these frameworks might not be the best fit, but it doesn’t mean Agile is irrelevant for large-scale IT projects. The practical way to approach Agile would be, by only looking at the end goal of the project – breaking the project down into small tasks and then putting in iterations to develop a flexible IT operations model.
Your operational efficiency depends upon the actual outcomes of product development, whether you were able to meet the requirements of your client and make changes swiftly. Breaking the project into different sprints ensures exactly this – your team gets a time frame to prioritize and focus on the defined tasks. Whereas your client will be able to review and request for iterations in the project in the development phase itself.
Anyhow, some behemoth projects still might require a waterfall approach, where the product-by-product approach of Agile breaks.
Is Waterfall still relevant in the Agile age?
The waterfall model is still widely used in large scale projects. For example, replacing a billing system for a large retail chain cannot be done in product iterative methodology. Here, IT organizations could adopt the waterfall model but by moving differently from the traditional methods.
You don’t need to wait to gather all the business requirements to start product development. Once you have the functional requirements of the product, you need to validate inputs from all stakeholders, which means that your solution has to be thoroughly checked and stress-tested for critical issues and then you can start coding the product.
Gone are the days of gathering requirements and taking months for building a solution, before unveiling the end product to the customer. That doesn’t play well with the present culture of experimentation and collaboration. Agile principles act as guidelines for different teams to understand that cohesion between members is a necessity to succeed, the faster they can cycle through the phases – sooner they deliver can succeed. Co-location enables teams to operate as a single entity and build this cohesion.
When product teams can get together frequently for daily stand-ups, demos, retros -they form a bond. Communication between team members results in a well-designed product that is delivered in the shortest time. Joint accountability and product-focused team members can deliver value to the clients by coming together for the end-goal. Agility blurs the lines of strict adherence of roles and responsibilities, it creates product-oriented teams that deliver value.
As an Agile focused product development company, Perfomatix makes sure customer collaboration and team interactions take over processes and tools. We strive to create value and support for our clients to upgrade to the latest technology.
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