Challenges

The increasing complexity of software development frequently results in projects taking a course that is similar to “shooting at moving targets”. The requirements defined at the start of the project have significantly changed by the time the end of the development is reached. More often than not, the consequences are hastily developed change requests or comprehensive subsequent releases. In addition to this, it frequently happens that those requirements that get implemented are the ones no longer required in product life. This is not only a waste of resources, but also reduces significantly the maintainability of the system.

Solution

In the wake of this knowledge, more and more software development projects today use agile methods, such as Scrum, which address the challenges described above. Whilst in the past requirements were often laid down by the business departments at an early stage, requirements today are developed incrementally within the team, starting from a rough framework. Only after completion of the so-called sprint are the requirements for the next sprint defined. This makes it possible to not only react to changing requirements and requests in an agile way, but also to live an active continuous change process (Kaizen) throughout the course of the project. This is made possible because the results of the sprints are available at a very early stage as objects of test, learning and inspection. The active collaboration of the development units with the (internal) customer in the project ensures that at the end of the development cycle the product will actually have exactly those functions that are important for the customer. The transition to agile software development (Agile Transition) necessitates corresponding changes in the organization of processes – not only as far as the development team is concerned, but also in other departments involved in the development. In practice, this boils down to a change in corporate philosophy towards the Lean principles. The use of agile development methods provides the opportunity to organize processes in accordance with the principles of Lean management. Whilst Scrum shows its strong points mainly in development projects, the introduction of the Kanban principles can significantly reduce the throughput times in IT service management. Through the clear visualization of the development processes, it is possible to identify any potential bottlenecks very quickly and to then react effectively to changing process requirements.

Our support

In the critical phase of introducing agile principles, Díaz & Hilterscheid supports you with specially trained Change Managers who have a broad spectrum of experience in Agile Transition. The important thing is to prepare all parties involved – developers, testers/QA and customers, but also users and other stakeholders – for the partly changed tasks and requirements. It is essential to communicate the “Whole-Team Approach” (the common responsibility for the product and its quality) and the new forms of working together. For active engagement in your projects, our consultants are trained as Certified ScrumMaster® and Certified Agile Tester®. Apart from this, they have the necessary practical experience to be able to provide crucial assistance and support in the implementation of agile processes. It is always also important to us to not just participate in your projects, but to be involved in your continuous improvement process (Kaizen). In order to cope with the incremental progress of development, agile projects require a high degree of test automation. This can involve not only unit tests at development level, but also automated business tests. We actively accompany your teams from the selection of the tools required to their use in the project. After an analysis of the processes in place in the IT service management, we will cooperate closely with your teams to define coordinated and optimized development flows for your maintenance work. Through the introduction of tailored pull principles, the so-called Work in Progress (WIP) is controlled and the efficiency of the development departments is boosted significantly. In doing so, the throughput times of change requests are reduced to a minimum. One principle of the Agile Manifesto is to reduce the documentation of development to the necessary minimum. In this context, we help you to nevertheless guarantee sufficient auditability. We provide:

  • Agile Transition – your way to agile requirements, agile project management and agile testing
  • Agile support of your projects
  • Agile IT operation by means of Kanban
  • Automation and documentation in an agile environment