PROCEED WITH CAUTION, READING THIS BLOG POST MAY INDUCE SERIOUS ICE CREAM CRAVINGS
These days “agile” is such a buzzword in the world of software development. We want to make sure that you understand why Agile is such a ground-breaking methodology to project management and why it can be powerful. Klein takes an agile approach to software development, but you should understand what that means for your organization:
Chocolate Ice Cream vs Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream
The truth is it takes time to adjust to this model. Many clients that start with us are skeptical and hesitate because the final deliverable is almost always different than what you originally had in mind. This is entirely normal and encouraged! It’s kind of like when you were a kid, and your family offers to take you out for ice-cream. Picture it, you have your entire heart set on chocolate, until you get to the ice-cream shop and realize there is a chocolate-brownie flavor with real bits of brownie! Yes, the plain old chocolate is still available to you, but you realize there is something even better that you didn’t know existed. Agile allows you to make better decisions along the way so that you quickly adapt to bake in those extra features – the brownie bits, if you will – that will please your stakeholders and give your customers the best experience possible.
How Do I Know I’m Done?
One of the biggest hurdles clients and consultants struggle with is determining when the project is considered “done”. Work with your consultant to create end state diagrams that keep your project on mission – be careful not to use Agile as a vehicle for fulfilling your every project whimsy fantasy. The concept of defining “done” can be tricky because the line of where you stop handing over your dollars for development can be fuzzy. Klein recommends that you work with your consultant to create visuals – check in with those projects during your sprint planning and review meetings to make sure you align with your original concept. You can tweak these diagrams as you go and as your priorities shift, but remember, every tweak to the end-state diagram just means an extended timeline and additional dollars to get there.
Isn’t Agile Just Code For “Expensive”?
If you’re working with a consultant that is agile, you’ll need to work together to create a backlog for the entire project – a wishlist of all of the items you would want in your system ordered by priority. Depending on your consultant, the refining process for breaking out this backlog into epics or sprints may vary. If understanding cost is really important to you, allow your consultant to conduct an in-depth discovery phase so that they can understand current state and demonstrate an ideal future state. From there the consultant team can tentatively break out the backlog into 2-4 week sprints and should be able to turn around a better idea of total project cost and timeline.
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Go forth friends, understanding why Agile is the preferred approach for software consultants.. p.s. if your consultant is stuck with a waterfall mindset, you may need to investigate if this approach is best for your software development needs.
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Are you looking for a trusted agile consultant partner for your current or upcoming projects? Klein Consulting whole-heartedly believes in this methodology and can help you fully understand the risks and benefits of this approach.