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Is your Agile delivery at risk of failing at the final hurdle?

In the past, organisations have tended to shy away from using Agile for larger, more complex delivery projects. Now, you are likely to be under pressure to deliver even more innovative solutions in an ever-changing technology landscape. The Agile approach continues to gain support, even within areas of Central Government.   However, in ensuring early alignment of development with business expectations, operational and other non-functional requirements can easily become an afterthought.  This risks success at the very point the business is most eager to take delivery of their new system.

Some companies have turned to DevOps to boost the quality of delivery from their Agile development teams.  They have to, given the pressure to produce higher-quality code, faster, and with less time available for QA.  The secret of successful Agile and DevOps delivery is not in new tools or technologies (although tools and automation play a vital role). Rather it is about building the appropriate quality culture, where operational and support teams engage with the  development and testing teams (and vice versa) to ensure solutions are as operationally ready as they are functionally, as early as possible.

Organisations can lose sight of (or ignore) the basic ingredients required to deliver quality software,  and sometimes look to new/different methodologies to solve greater underlying delivery issues that are required to underpin quality IT delivery like proactive and robust infrastructure, configuration and release management. Agile and DevOps can definitely help reduce some of your delivery risks, but they can also place even greater reliance on your organisation having:

  • Technically strong and motivated people – Without your IT teams having the skills and talent to build, test and support software, no methodology or clever architecture will compensate, in fact Agile/DevOps focused development will only exaggerate the problem.
  • Forward thinking and effective quality assurance – Identification of poor design and/or implementation early is essential, and an afterthought at your project’s peril especially in an Agile/DevOps approach where time needs to be spent building new rather than rebuilding old.
  • Eager, engaging and passionate support communities – Your support teams are as crucial to landing any technical delivery as your development teams, and yes, this includes any outsourced / managed services third parties from the infrastructure all the way up to first line teams. Without support teams ‘leaning in’ to software deliveries, taking responsibility and ownership early for the new solutions, brace yourself (and your users) for a lengthy and bumpy transition.

Is your organisation struggling to land complex IT solutions with Agile/DevOps methodologies or worried about them failing at the final hurdle? If so, talk to DMW about how we are helping others.