Purple Paper: Contextualising Agile Development Methodologies

During the discovery phase of any software development project here at Arrk Group, the team involved asks itself a standard series of questions, aimed at determining the best Agile methodology to adopt.

There are numerous Agile methodologies which can be used and from an implementation point of view, each methodology prescribes some specific practices to deliver software outcomes in an agile manner. Each methodology is different in terms of rigour, flexibility, areas of focus, level of preparedness needed and so on.

As part of our continuous development and refinement of best practices in the use of a range of development methodologies and practices, we have developed a matrix to not only consolidate learning on using an agile approach to development in distributed teams, but also to create a reference matrix to aid the decision-making process.

Agile Methodologies White Paper

In developing our matrix, two project types were evaluated, a New Development is typically a ‘green field’ scenario where fresh software is being developed. The second scenario are Support projects which generally involve the maintenance and continued support of an existing application. Both types require a different mix of considerations, therefore selecting the most appropriate methodology is a challenging task requiring good alignment of what the methodology entails to the context and needs of the project.

Some of the key considerations when deciding which Agile approach to take in any software development project, include:

  • Quality
  • Process & Governance
  • Cost
  • Business Deadlines
  • Resourcing
  • Customer Willingness

Once these considerations have been agreed upon, the next element of the matrix is deciding upon the weighting of each consideration, in our final Agile Development Methodology Matrix our weightings totalled 100, with each consideration receiving a score divisible by 5. New software development projects and maintenance/support projects are sufficiently different to warrant a different set of considerations, with some clear common ground.

The final element of the matrix is the compliance scale, here the team awarded each consideration a compliance scale, ranging between 0 and 1, in increments of 0.25.

In our Purple Paper we look at four Agile practices; Kanban, Scrum, Scrumban and Extreme Programming (XP).

Download our Arrk Group Project Methodology Selection Purple Paper for free, simply click the link.

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