Agile processes in enterprises are working. Proved business case

If you are reading this article, you probably know what agile methodologies are. But in case if you don’t, here’s a very brief description. Agile is a linear way of organizing your software development processes. The idea of Agile boils down to breaking large projects into smaller tasks, with regular review, analysis, and adaptation processes. In its essence, Agile is called upon to maximize the efficiency of your software development efforts. But is it working, actually?

In this article, we’ll discuss the process of transmission from Waterfall to Agile. We’ll show you a proven case of using Agile in a real-world enterprise scenario. In particular, we’ll discuss the benefits of going Agile, the process of transmission to Agile, and the differences between Agile and Waterfall. Let’s dive in!

The case

We are developing an efficient solution for managing and preventing cash machines incidents. The idea of the project is to allow clients and customer service representatives easily deal with ATM issues of varying complexity and scale.

Service desk should comprise a variety of complex systems listed below:
  • customizable workflow, 
  • query management integrated into SLA monitoring, 
  • issue tracking within a single system used by multiple departments,
  • progress and query management reporting,
  • escalation to management (manual and automatic).
The project lasts for 2 years. The working process is fully transparent and easily trackable. The client is continually monitoring the progress, bringing lots of valuable optimization ideas to the table. Any improvements are discussed with the client before they get implemented. This way, all changes are adjusted in response to specific demands and expectations of the client.

Transmission from Waterfall

The project listed above was supposed to be built using a Waterfall approach. But in the process of implementing this methodology, we found out that Waterfall has many drawbacks. In short, these are listed below.

Significant business risks. When you start estimating the revenue using a Waterfall approach -- your risks of losing money increase, as the market changes so rapidly that it is difficult to draw clear predictions using Waterfall. Estimating potential project revenue is more difficult but not less efficient in Agile.
Documentation blockers. In Waterfall, you need to document all processes, get approval, and only after that pass it over to development. Work with documentation is very time- and energy-consuming, which is a significant demotivation factor overall.
Absence of global vision. It is absolutely OK to have all processes documented, but it is not OK to miss out on team communication because of it. When all project details are put into written texts, not words, everyone gets its own vision of a project, which results in countless revisions that never end.

Implementation of Agile

The drawbacks of Waterfall significantly slowed down the project completion status. As a result, we decided to move on with a different approach. Transmission to Agile was not hassle-free, but it was absolutely worth it. Below are the benefits we noticed on our way from Waterfall to Agile.
  • Team interest. Agile helps a team dive deeper into a product. Team members now can fully understand the project and each individual contribution to it.
  • Team motivation. Developers host a product demo after each sprint. They get a full picture of the changes made in a product and their role in it.
  • Team dedication. After each product demo, developers have a chance to hear constructive feedback about the results of their work. Regular feedback, especially positive, motivates them to delve deeper into the process and work with the product more closely.

Waterfall vs. Agile: comparison

One of the major differences between these two approaches is their method of work organization. While in Waterfall Project Manager is fully responsible for the process, in Agile Scrum Master is the one who oversees it.

Plus, Waterfall methodology is fully internal. It does not require the input from clients, while the Agile approach focuses on customer satisfaction and participation first.

In addition to this, Waterfall is quite rigid at its core, while Agile is maximally flexible. It allows for operational changes to be made during and after the initial project planning.

The team

Many people were involved in our transmission. Thanks to it, the overall process did not feel like a crap. In particular, our team included:
  • Scrum Master
  • Business Analyst
  • Front-End Developers
  • Back-End Developers
  • Quality Assurance Specialists
Though each of our team members had a different set of responsibilities, deadlines, and goals, everyone was similarly involved in a process, which resulted in a positive, pain-free, and promising change.

Instead of conclusion

As a wrap up to our experiment, it is essential to indicate the following. 
The Waterfall has many benefits and can be regarded as a stringently sequential process. The Agile methodology is very different at its core. It can be regarded as a flexible and highly collaborative approach, which drives better team cooperation and faster problem solving. 

For this reason, Agile is rather a necessity than an opportunity, especially for the big tech giants that adapt to the ever changing market.