Have you ever wondered what the most effective way to implement a new software is? How to avoid problems and disappointment while executing this process? Is spending weeks on building a full set of detailed requirements before launching the project the only possible way? And what about the out-of-the-box software?
Waterfall vs Agile?
Unlike the traditional project management model that assumes customer requirements to be fully defined before any planning, current ways of running projects are certainly moving towards using the agile approach to building and implementation of IT solutions. That comes even more appropriate when you are clear about your project goals (usually prioritized by business value) but uncertain about how to achieve them. Why agile is the solution and what are the benefits of using it?
Agile is usually determined as a way of producing software in short iterations on a continuous delivery schedule, simplicity, sustainable pace of development and changes based on customer feedback. One of the principals, described in ‘Agile Manifesto’ is to deliver the customer an intermediate and perhaps incomplete, but working solution, receive feedback, introduce changes or additions, and repeat the cycle. This process takes place until either the customer is satisfied or has no further changes to recommend. Such approach allows to significantly reduce the risk of developing software that would not meet customer expectations, as well as to benefit instantaneously without having to wait for the end of the project. Moreover, the development process becomes more transparent as you can verify it even at an early stage of the project thanks to the incremental way of providing functionality.
Applying agile to packaged software deployment
All agile main principles can also be applied to implement packaged solutions. To have an out-of-the-box software entirely suitable for your needs probably will be required an adjustment of its elements to the specifics of your organization. If you think of main reasons for project failures, one of the biggest challenges that come to mind is a requirement change during the project. All of the agile approaches to project management are built on the assumption that the changing requirements will appear as the customers gain better focus on what they actually need. Don’t be afraid to make changes to reach the main project goal. Sometimes the final needs can differ from the initial ones significantly (business conditions can also change). This approach makes an introduction of changes much cheaper, and their accomplishment possible in a much shorter time. Besides when you choose out-of-the-box software, you always have a working product, so your risk of project failure reduces radically. You can focus dashboards set-up according to most important KPIs, required custom reports, or additional functionalities that make your implementation successful and the product more customized to your organization.
Finally, all statistics say that by using agile project management, on average, the time to market is much faster and the efficiency of your team is increased, with productivity higher than the average. Projects using agile approach always finish sooner, are less expensive, produce higher quality deliverables, and deliver maximum business value for the time and cost invested on the contrary to traditionally managed projects.
Sounds interesting? Check how we successfully deploy Skilo for our customers!
Point of view by:
Jarek Kalicki – Project Manager at enxoo responsible for successful deployment of Skilo for customers.