Implementing Agile in a Non-Agile Organization
Despite al the hype, government is experiencing mixed results adopting Agile development practices. According to the Project Management Institute, issues include “(1) communicating; (2) managing day-to-day operational problems; (3) gaining buy-in from management, customers, and team members; (4) changing culture and mindset; and (5) gaining experience and making it work.” Our NCUA customer was no different – especially considering this was the organization’s first attempt at Agile.
Our solution begins and ends with the customer. Agile could only be possible working in partnership with NCUA. Active engagement from the Product Owner, incorporation of lessons learned, and clearly defining the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) were foundational elements to gain early traction on the project. Implementing Scrum was the easy part – working with NCUA to gain buy-in required establishing our processes quickly and then sticking with the framework consistently. We kept things simple and transparent. We leveraged existing internal systems wherever possible. Key to success was our ability to loosely interpret analog requirements into user stories.
The Kanban board quickly become the project source of record, supported by a wiki in which we reposited architectures, business context, and delivered artifacts. Transparency bread confidence in the project and team. Delivering value with every sprint was always the highest priority. Predictability and lessons learned led to yet more customer trust and confidence, and ultimately, measurable results.
SBD introduced and demonstrated the effectiveness and efficiency of an Agile Development methodology – optimizing performance and better positioning NCUA to meet future requirements. SBD’s approach gained organizational buy-in, paving the way for delivery of process efficiencies, including the shift from traditional analogue change management processes to release-on-demand software deployment processes.
- Quickly, and consistently demonstrated effectiveness and efficiency of methodology, including introduction of Agile-based development enabling release-on-demand daily code updates.
- Delivered quality and tangible value with every Scrum and every Sprint.
- Partnered with the customer to gain buy-in and foster active participation in the process through introduction and adherence to Core Scrum principles.