Agile Development Methodology: what lessons have we learned?

  • Published on: 14 May 2015
  • By: Senior Consultant

As Darwin once said, “In the long history of humankind, those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed”. Little did he realise the importance of this statement and the appropriateness of his words to business methodology almost 150 years later.

Trends such as social media, big data, cloud-based technology and mobile are driving companies to innovate and differentiate themselves from similar businesses in order to maintain their competitive edge. Underpinning all of these trends in technology, flexibility, speed to market and agility are key to moving forward and gaining this competitive edge. For many organisations, it can appear that moving to an Agile development methodology is a necessity in order to survive, provide better customer outcomes and deliver an accelerated increased business value, whilst maintaining a profitable business model.

Following this pressure for movement, Quantum Plus created and hosted our first Agile Development Special Interest Group on 23rd April 2015 entitled “Contracting and commercial models, measures, benefits and value realisation. Comprising over 20 Agile thought leaders across a variety of industries and sectors, the aims of the group as decided by its members are as follows:

  • Share experiences and thought leadership to date
  • Explore ideas and work in collaboration to further develop some of the answers
  • Create a forum for open discussion and communicate “lessons learned” so that others can benefit from learnings and experience to date.

The report from the group’s first meeting can be found here.

Through our interactive sessions, we analogised methodologies as an aid to demonstrate the differences and benefits of Agile – useful tools when engaging with business stakeholders.

Addressing the day’s theme, the group then discussed their experiences, successes and struggles with the following:

  • The “One Team” approach - how a successful Agile team should be built and managed.
  • Measures and metrics – vital to provide feedback and so continuous service improvement.
  • Contracting principles for Agile - examining alternative pricing models and key contracting differences.
  • Sourcing approach for Agile - developing alternatives to a traditional RFP approach, for the sourcing of Agile suppliers.

Agreed by all participants, the Agile Development Special Interest Group is a useful approach for Agile thought leaders to engage with one another in a supportive and innovative way. Going forward, we will tackle subjects such as generating increased value from Agile delivery, (e.g. approach to offshoring and tools for the team) and getting the business on board.

If you are interested in learning more about the Special Interest Group or how you can use the Agile development methodology in your projects to maintain a competitive advantage in an ever adapting business environment, please do not hesitate to get in touch.