Adapting to Growth with an Agile Transformation
As technology has become ever-more integrated into our daily lives, the need for in-home technical help and support has increased. sdg had the pleasure of working with a customer who provides such services to households across the US. The customer had experienced unprecedented growth, resulting from the proliferation of technology and an aging population which is confronted with continual advancement. The customer sought out a means of adapting to this growth which would prepare their teams and systems for the challenges that lay ahead. Under sdg’s direction and guidance, the customer would implement an Agile methodology and Continuous Integration & Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) pipeline to meet those needs—all without disrupting the world-class services they provide.
sdg would partner with the customer to adopt Agile strategies and Scrum methodology. These changes would have a transformative effect on the customer’s development process by fast-tracking building and clearly defining roles within the team. Though, to better understand these changes, it is important to know the relationship between Agile and Scrum.
In software development, Agile refers to a system of beliefs and values governed by one simple concept: agility. As outlined in the Agile Manifesto, agility can be achieved by focusing on interactions between individuals, continuing collaboration with customers, and ultimately, responding to changes as they occur, rather than relying on a set plan. Though, perhaps just being “agile” isn’t as easy as it sounds. The twelve guiding principles of Agile can aid a Scrum team in determining Agile actions and policies. Among these principles is an emphasis on simplicity, efficiency, and a “continuous attention to technical excellence.”
There are various software development methodologies which abide by the principles of Agile. One such methodology is Scrum. Scrum is an emerging alternative to the traditional “waterfall” method of planning and development, where planning, building, testing, and reviewing all occur chronologically and independent of each other. Scrum takes these same steps and expedites them into a process of less than three weeks, known as a “sprint.” The sprint process is repeated until a shippable product can be produced. In performing these sprints, the lines between planning and building and testing become less opaque, saving time and fostering a more intuitive development process.
Leading the customer in their Agile transformation, sdg would concentrate on understanding expectations; each and every team member would be cognizant of their role and contribution to the greater whole. sdg consultants would serve in a number of ways, including to champion change and create impactful processes and procedures. In alignment with Scrum methodology, key roles such as Product Owner, Scrum Master, and Development Team would be designated and fulfilled. These assignments would stabilize team dynamics, allowing for enhanced planning and communication.
Like Scrum, implementing CI/CD pipeline is a way of fast-tracking the development process. CI/CD removes the constraints of the waterfall method (namely time and labor intensive testing), replacing them with automation. Though, the most essential aspect of CI/CD is the daily frequency at which integration and testing occur. By integrating code from team members on a daily basis, developers are able to avoid jarring inconsistencies which could lead to errors or defects.
In adopting CI/CD procedures, the customer was relieved of the time consuming, manual deployments they had once relied on. Lower environment code migration was changed from an exhausting bi-weekly process to daily automated deployments across various environments. Lastly, triggered-regression testing with each build improved code quality, resulting in more frequent builds with fewer errors and faster to-market production.
sdg’s customer was able to unlock new performance within their organization by successfully adopting new Agile processes and technologies, tuned to their business.
Through the Agile transformation, the customer was able to craft and maintain well-functioning team dynamics and adopt more efficient delivery processes. Clearly defined roles created new value for Product Managers, Product Owners, and Development Team members. With sdg facilitating the use of Scrum methods and the CI/CD pipeline, the customer experienced more efficient development – reduced resources, improved quality and shortened delivery cycles.
sdg consultants partnered in the following roles:
- Program Manager
- Release Manager
- Scrum Master
- Project Manager
- Business Systems Analyst
- Partnership, Mentorship & Coaching
- Business & Technology Alignment
- Delivery Reporting & Metrics
- Detailed and Precise Requirements / User Stories
- Documentation, Knowledge Transfer & Enablement