Agile development

When Agile makes sense

As classic waterfall (plan-driven) development remains to be a reliable technique to deal with a well-defined project scope, ScienceSoft applies agile methodology when flexibility can propel far more efficient results. Here is when you will probably need to go agile with your project:

  • The scope is vague
  • The scope is likely to change
  • Multiple stakeholders with complex requirements are involved
  • Defining and negotiating the scope among the stakeholders before they get the first version of the software may be more costly and time-consuming than development itself
  • The anticipated system will be based on an out-of-the-box product with a rich functionality, which requires significant customization and, thus, makes a detailed specification not effective

How we use Agile

With multiple agile practices in the company’s arsenal, it’s Scrum where we have built the most substantial experience. Usually, our projects under the Scrum methodology share the following key patterns:

  • You appoint a Product Owner – a person committed to the product’s success and able to dedicate time to its development: namely, define the overall vision, features and deadlines, gather requirements from other stakeholders and so on
  • ScienceSoft assigns a development team headed by a Scrum Master to coordinate the team members and drive the process smoothly
  • The development process is split into short (2-3 weeks) incremental iterations (so-called sprints) aimed at delivering a potentially shippable product at the end of each cycle
  • Based on virtually seeing what the software looks and feels like and being able to gather feedback from other stakeholders, you can initiate changes after each iteration
  • The Product Owner and the development team use sprint planning meetings to discuss the results of the previous sprint, create a sprint backlog (number of tasks to be fulfilled during the forthcoming sprint) and update the product backlog
  • Daily Scrum meetings are held to streamline collaboration among the development team members by discussing what has been done since the last meeting, what will be done today and what the stumbling blocks are

Benefits of Agile

Agile development is by no means a silver bullet, but it can lessen the risk of a project failure (when used in the above-mentioned cases) thanks to the fact that it:

  • Easily adapts to changes caused by shifts in customer behavior, industry standards or technology
  • Provides tangible results (new software versions that are stable enough and offer the minimal functionality to meet stakeholder requirements) after each sprint (2-3 weeks)
  • Actively engages stakeholders to guarantee better user satisfaction and control over the delivery results
  • Has Quality Assurance integrated in the process, which allows for less rework and improved quality
  • Helps you to stay on budget and get a valuable result

How do you control the budget?

When it comes to budgeting, agile development turns out to be not as uncontrollable as it may seem at first glance. Holding the overall vision of the project, the Product Owner has the privilege of defining a set of features to be created in the forthcoming iteration and initiating change in the development team, if need be, at earlier stages.

What you need to pull off a successful Agile project

Apart from choosing an experienced vendor, it is equally important that your Product Owner can dedicate considerable time to always stay tuned into the agile development life cycle and bring in the essential vision of the software.

Key facts about agile development at ScienceSoft

  • 148 active Agile projects in 2014-2015
  • 100% project delivery
  • Our hallmark Agile projects:
    • Award-winning mobile banking solution
    • 4.5-year cooperation (still on) with a global leader in image processing: 7 ScienceSoft teams (over 30 experts in total) involved and 12 software products released
    • Innovative CMS platform
    • World’s largest PLM platform: over 40 specialists involved during 2 years
    • 5.5-year cooperation (still on) in creating hybrid TV apps that are now used by Fox Entertainment Group, MTV, Discovery Communications and other industry giants
    • Trade marketing planning system for a global marketing agency used in over 60 countries

Get a quote