Agile Methodology – The T20 of Software Development Life Cycle

By Rahul Singh, Agile methodology is like T20 cricket match of recent days where the requirements keep changing every moment and you need to be on your toes to be successful (deliver something tangible).

Waterfall or V-model was more like a Test match where you had enough time to set yourself and decide on your strategy. But here in agile there is a concept of sprint hardening which means once the goal is set you need to try your best to achieve it. If I had to compare it to cricket, there is a very similar phenomenon in cricket whereby once the field is set the bowler has to pitch the bowl in the right area so that he can flick the wicket. If you dare to throw one or two loose balls then be ready to face the music and the match will go away from your hands like the desert sand slips through your fingers and you don’t even get to realize that it’s all over.

Today the world is changing towards fast pace, dynamism and increased agility. Clients have lost the patience to wait for 6 months or more to see something tangible coming out of the development work. Moreover when the client is not very clear about the requirement he likes to go for the agile methodology, where  he can get to see the result in 15 to 30 days of sprint and sense pretty early in the game that whether the development is on right track or not. Whether this is what he wanted and this is how the things should shape, if there is any aberration from his desired output he can change the course of action real early in the game rather than waiting till the late ends of the development. This will not only save money but also the effort and hard work put in by the developers.

As in T20 every over counts, each over has got its own strategy similarly in Agile every sprint counts and each sprint has got its own deliverables. It’s not necessary that the previous sprint would have any correlation with the kind of work being taken up in the present sprint. But when you combine all the sprint backlogs you will realize that the end result was very similar to what a team had expected at the end of the project, very similar to what a cricket team had expected at the end of the match. Each individual has to take the onus to deliver his best; he or she should very well understand that what is expected out of him or her during the sprint and if every individual puts in his best effort with all the commitment and honesty then the team as a whole can surely expect a win.

If we look it from an agile point of view then we can expect that at the end of the entire sprint we would surely be able to complete the whole product backlog much more effectively and conveniently.

Your captain in this game of agile is your scrum master along with the Business analyst and the technical leads playing the role of vice-captains. As the saying goes with great roles comes great responsibility, it’s in the hands of captain and the vice-captains to steer the deck in the direction of success, show the winning path to the team and work as a torch bearer.

What is at stake in this game of agile? If you see from the client’s point of view it’s his money which is riding high on the product but if you see from the eyes of the development team, it’s the pride and honor, the ownership, the onus to deliver the product as desired and on time. If the team fails to deliver then as in the game of cricket, you stand a chance to lose all the prize money and the confidence of thousands of expectators whose eyes are constantly watching your moves, which can be referred to the senior management in this case.

So set your backlog right and let your coding do the talking…Impossible is nothing… :)J

Little analogy of scrum with T2O cricket:

aglie-table

Now to some key questions: Who sets the target? What is the metrics used to evaluate the sprint?

Going back to the analogy, as we have runs in matches which work as metrics to calculate the efficiency of the team. The match total of a team decides the efficiency of the team under the given circumstances. Similarly the number of story points/Function points a team can deliver decides the efficiency of the agile development team. In a sprint each individual by his or her work contributes to the Story Point/Function Point of the total team.

The Estimation Process:

Total Project scope (Use Cases/Features) gives the project size in Function Points or Story Points as metrics chosen by the organization. This helps the team to decide the high level backlog with estimates for the team. The Function Point/Story Point estimation includes the total detail of the effort/Hours of hard work which will be required to complete the whole project. It also details out a tentative date of the complete delivery of the project (Forecasting/prediction).

Further details like number of resource required to achieve the task in the stipulated time are also calculated and resource planning can be done based on the Project planning and Estimates planning done for the project.

Hence the relation between Effort (in Hours) , Resources and Scope can be established.

aglie-table2

Project Lifecycle using Agile Methodology – IGT way :

Till now what an analogy of the delivery/Operations and estimates in agile has been derived. The IGT methodology is as below:

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IGT uses the agile framework which is an industry standard and uses an unique methodology.

IGT has developed an efficient and robust approach, which helps in time saving and delivering a defect free/ Risk free system. IGT’s concept of Quality gates provides a check at each stage of delivery making the system much more robust and defect free.

For more details on “Quality Gates”, Please get in  touch with IGT at mktg@www.igtsolutions.com

Contributed by: Rahul Singh, Sr. Business Analyst, IGT

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