Agile methodologies enhance Appian delivery: Part 2
By Aaron Emmert
Last week we discussed the first steps of how our teams use Agile Methodologies to accelerate our Appian project delivery.
This week we’ll discuss how we move from the initial story stage and flow into the development phases.
Once the user stories have been pointed and pulled into the sprint to be worked, the stories are assigned out to the developers. At this point the developers will begin preliminary research and come up with an action plan, outlining what needs to be changed.
In some cases, the development team will coordinate a design session where all the developers will attend and discuss the implementation details for each story. This adds another safeguard to catch any gaps and to verify what was said during the meetings, information used to come up with its points, accurately reflects what is in the code.
To ensure the code base is following best practices, the Development Team performs peer reviews after development (sprint) is finished. If additional changes are necessary, the reviewer outlines it and sends it back to the developer. The process repeats as needed and when it is finished, the story goes to testing and is ready to be demonstrated.
The testing step verifies what was built and includes performing a series of use cases to try to break the code. The exercise of going through multiple uses cases verifies the correct technical and business validations are in place. Testers also make an effort to add or update any automated test cases, if applicable, particularly for larger projects where manual testing becomes too time-consuming.
At the end of the sprint, a sprint demo is scheduled where all business-approved stories are showcased to a larger audience. The primary purpose is to provide all parties associated with the project opportunities to discuss any questions or concerns that resulted from the new stories.
The last type of meeting to be completed during a sprint is the retrospective. This gives everyone in the team a platform to discuss the following from a systematic perspective:
- What went right?
- What went wrong?
- What should we start doing?
- What should we stop doing?
Examples of an effective retrospective include: user stories with missing acceptance criteria, development times or user story pointing were incorrectly estimated, an inadequate collaboration of testing. Whatever the case may be, this meeting will ensure the team is performing at capacity.
In conclusion, our customers benefit from BIG’s best practices in Agile. This delivery methodology has been tried and true, and will ultimately identify the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) for the business. As a result, using Appian to quickly build software combined with Agile’s ability to quickly respond to business needs, we deliver a custom digital solution to the business end user that is production ready within a matter of weeks, as opposed to years.
About the author
As an Appian developer, Aaron strives to meet and exceed the expectation of our clients. He grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, where he is a fan of the Packers, dairy products, and cider. His hobbies include walking the dog, exercising, reading and playing video games. Read more of Aaron’s blogs here.