One of the key outcomes of moving to Cloud is to build and deploy solutions quickly. To keep up with the pace of customer or business expectations, an iterative and fast paced process is required in place of the agile software development process. This is the key to Cloud development itself.
Agile methodology involves iterative and incremental development where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing and cross-functional teams, with close interactions and early feedback from the customer. Successful Agile teams show impressive increases in team efficiency, shorter development cycles, better quality software and software better suited to customer needs. To achieve agility “at scale”, teams must manage increasing application complexity, address gaps in communication to encourage collaboration and automate functional silos to enable an iterative development process.
But the path to envision and run an agile development project is not for the faint hearted. The key to success of such a project is the organizational mindset and culture. Enterprises need the right partner who can address all of these and deliver projects efficiently.
How We Deliver
- Initiative Planning: Helps in project prioritization, scope management, cost management and benefits realization by leveraging a strategic approach for identifying and realizing the business benefits of various IT projects.
- Project Mapping: By using a standard template, we trace the connection between high-level business requirements and the business benefits it generates.
- Feature Prioritization: A simple pair-wise comparison of features enables HEIGHTS to elicit and prioritize requirements based on customer’s inputs.
- Scope Change Management: The mapping between business benefits and application functionality enables HEIGHTS to effectively manage scope change by providing project sponsors with information on the impact of scope change on business value.
- Relationship Planning: The HEIGHTS AGILE PMO will structure the design of the relationship between the customer and HEIGHTS to ensure cultural compliance in the execution of initiatives. HEIGHTS aims to strengthen project team bonds by cultural awareness initiatives such as face-to-face meetings, social events and cultural awareness training. We also establish clear roles and responsibilities across the customer and HEIGHTS project teams for managing the project execution.
- Governance Model: By gaining an understanding of the customer priorities, HEIGHTS establishes governance processes which act as a framework for building the level of checks and balances required to add new capabilities and or re-prioritize current initiatives. Resource management models are built around flexible staff augmentation practices that help us in quickly ramping resources without any operational overheads.
- Communication Plan: Regular, ongoing communication is critical to consistently establish and manage expectations of the various customer stakeholders, including the end-users. HEIGHTS enables effective communication between the customer and HEIGHTS project teams by creating a detailed, documented communication plan that outlines:
- General Message Content Guidelines — Specifics about how message content needs to be organized like problem statement first and details to follow or vice versa.
- The information dissemination method — voice, email, spreadsheet, presentation, e-Newsletter.
- Frequency of communications for each stakeholder group how quickly and how often the project information will need to be communicated to the different stakeholders — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly.
- Execution Tracking — By tracking the execution progress, HEIGHTS ensures that projects are executed on-time, within budget and meet customer expectations. The progress reporting is done based on per-established and agreed-upon business and technology goals for the relationship, including performance metrics.
- Risk Management: HEIGHTS uses a Risk Management Framework that helps effectively identify, reduce or mitigate risk. A risk score is obtained based on categorization of risks based on consequences, probability (likelihood) and exposure (frequency of occurrence). The different risk categories typically used are Client Engagement, Project and Program Management, including Requirements Management, Resource Allocation, Quality and Process, Technology and Architecture, Project Specific Risks. Based on the risk assessment, risk cost-benefit analysis is also done and a risk response plan is created.
Key Reasons For Following Agile Methodology
- Time Boxed Delivery – functional releases are scheduled for short and fixed durations, typically of 2 weeks.
- Incremental and Frequent Releases – every release adds to the functionality from the previous release and shorter, time-boxed delivery ensures that parts of the product are potentially usable before project completion.
- Integrated And Continuous Testing – product is tested in every release and defects are caught early on in the project life-cycle. Incremental releases ensure that the product is regression tested.
- Minimally Marketable Features – The features for all releases are prioritized and developed in such a way that every release output is a potentially shippable product.
- Continuous Improvement – Early feedback resulting from shorter release cycles ensures the product gets evolved in the right direction.
- Risk Moderation – Early visibility into potential schedule slips, ensures corrective measures can be taken early in the project life-cycle.