One of my main responsibilities as a CIO has been to develop the internal application that supports the core of our business. The last 6 years this has been done by my highly skilled team at 99x Technology in Sri Lanka.
The last 2 years, we literally turned everything upside down. We did a transition to Agile and Scrum, and I must say that we have never looked back.
There are many reasons – and of course many challenges linked to running a distributed project like this the Agile way. From a customer perspective, some of the advantages Agile methods has given us are:
1. We get tangible deliveries early in the project, and regularly
Since every sprint in principal should deliver a potential, shippable product, focus on delivery and ability to deliver something that gives values is core in the Agile method.
2. Focus on business value
Agility is about the ability to inspect and adapt. And in Software developement, users normally don’t have the full picture or insight initially to define in detail what an application should do or solve. With continuous backlog grooming and discussions, Agile methods can ensure that the developement team can use time on what is worth to use time on. So return of investment is higher.
3. Closer collaboration between team and customer
This is a benefit, but also a challenge in distributed Agile projects. The benefits are obvious: again – we get more focus on busines value, continuous developement, discussions over documentation, all resulting in a better end product.
The challenges have to be addressed, but technology is constantly evolving to help us bridge the gaps of distance.