When it comes to talks and readings about enterprise systems development, the waterfall methodology is never skipped and obliterated out of the topic. However, more and more enterprises now have discovered another methodology that promotes teamwork and collaboration as well as processes adaptability throughout the life cycle of a project. It’s called the agile framework. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of using this framework in promoting Enterprise Application Development.
PROS of the Agile Framework for Enterprise Systems Development
With the agile framework, project team members win flexibility and the freedom to adjust the schedules and costs. The coverage and features in the project can be changed throughout the time period of the project before implementation, according to the demands of the business. Not everything is written in stone and agile methodology embraces a matured level of flexibility even when a project is underway.
2. Immediate Feedback
Agile framework plays with smaller releases or iterations so any form of feedback such as comments, corrections and suggestions can be immediately sent to the developers, testers and quality analysts. The advantage is that there is less negative impact or delay on the schedule when there are changes in the requirements since people react without future proofing the system and judge whether they can be done.
3. Great Quality of Final Result
In a typical agile framework, each phase or iteration involves quality assurance testing. Without the stamp of approval of quality testers or analysts, the release for that stage cannot be continued to the next. Thus errors or defects are detected at once and everything is expected to be well in the last phase that completes the project life cycle in the system.
CONS of the Agile Framework for Enterprise Systems Development
1. Scope Creep
Normally when business users are informed that their requirements have been fulfilled in each phase in the project as expected and they feel satisfied, project managers and other stakeholders cannot guarantee that these users will want more. When they list more specifications to be included thinking that every feedback is entertained, scope creep occurs. This can be controlled though by requiring them to sign an approval document that they cannot extend scope but keep the original requirements as they work.
2. Low Priority for Documentation
Most delivery teams which are used to agile framework are not expert in documenting their activities and accomplishments in every phase or milestone. The tendency is for them to rush documentations and sometimes forget minute but important details. Along with agile framework’s design “code-test-build-release” or continuous process of “develop, build and test” come the frequent changes in the deliverables in each iteration. Hence, user manuals cannot be formed and any technical information are usually not available until the completion of the project or before the final product is released.
3. Time-consuming UAT
When agile methodology is chosen to be implemented in the enterprise, there must be dedicated business users and sponsors in the project else user acceptance testing might fail and this poses onerous effects on the project. Since there is continuous delivery of the changes and developed specifications, users must have the time spared to promptly test them before moving on to the next phase. These users are often called as the “customer representative” of the users side who are responsible to review and evaluate priorities to optimize their return on investment alongside ensuring that their needs are aligned with the features in the developed system.
There are many enterprises now adapting to the agile approach. But before you consider this framework, the management of the company should have an understanding about the basics of iterative philosophy. The senior members in the project team must also be committed enough to be greatly involved and actively participate with other users throughout the project’s cycle. Everyone must be supportive to deliver great results with little increments along the way.
Vanessa Parks is a Freelance Systems Analyst and Cloud Storage Consultant. She has been an advocate of Desktop virtualisation and unified computing for improved work efficiency and performance. She also has a passion in dancing, cooking and playing golf.