Michael Blechar, vice president in Gartner’s Applications Architecture Research division, just posted his thoughts on Agile development, a development method we at ELC prefer to achieve superior results. Blechar’s post go back to a recently published Gartner research notes entitled “Agile Development: What’s Still Fact and What’s Still Fiction?” (subscription required.)
The key findings of the report include that Agile is now clearly mainstream, that it is mature and a proven set of development methods. To be successful Agile methods require specific staffing practices, as well as key business participation in the team. Those who employ Agile methods need to understand their mature forms as well tracking methods. At ELC we believe in the benefits of Agile development as well as advanced approaches that improve the effectiveness even further and have enabled us to deliver much higher quality products. A critical part of our Agile method are frequent iteration planning meetings from the very beginning to create an instant communication channel.
ELC’s approach results in an expansion of the time available to the actual application growth phase, while we maintain the same overall development time. We provide a functional version of your product already at the end of the requirement analysis phase – at a time when the traditional method is only at the beginning of its design process.
Gartner’s Blechar notes that Agile often is about culture and we wholeheartedly agree. Quote:
“Traditional forms of development methods tended to have an engineering focus with “waterfall” approaches of project phases starting with “planning” and proceeding with “analysis, design, code, test, deploy, manage”. Some have been modified to include concepts for prototyping the user interface early in the process to uncover requirements, and the use of some time-boxed iterations through the steps in the process to allow for quicker delivery of parts of the solution sooner with improvements to be delivered in subsequent iterations or phases.”
Blechar believes that Agile methods include some of these concepts, but go well beyond them. He notes that there appears to be certain difficulty to understand what Agile means and where its effectiveness lies:
“In some cases, organizations have claimed to have implemented agile methods and failed, but a closer look seems to indicate that the majority of those who failed did NOT follow all the aspects of the methodology (or used it on the wrong type of project), while those who used agile methods more completely and on the right types of projects seem to have had far greater levels of success.”