Planning for Agile Design
Create and plan for your next project using this outline that focuses on using an incremental approach.
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Most IT-mature organizations leverage the Agile methodology to design, build, and deploy enterprise applications. There are scenarios where Waterfall may be the right approach, but the objective of this series is to explain how to plan for Agile Design for Enterprise Applications. Agile enables and replaces the traditional business blueprinting by exploring and build phases, but there are valid use cases where the organizations first want to follow the traditional business blueprint approach to get an idea of the underlying elements of design before embarking on realization phases.
End-to-end business flow diagrams
Fit/GAP analysis to identify key blockers or pieces of missing functionality.
Delta effort required to bridge the solution to meet the requirement
Roadmap to implement a solution along with the interim solutions to be built during the transition phase before the solution is rolled out across the organization.
Many organizations follow a cost arbitrage strategy of leveraging the Process and Technology consultants to finalize the Business Blueprint and then rebid and handover the realization work to System Integrators.
In the first article, I am introducing to challenges of Agile Blueprinting approach and the building blocks for planning. The other important aspects such as Defining, Refining, and Estimation of User Stories will be covered in subsequent articles.
Planning for Agile Business Blueprinting
The key to the success of Agile Business Blueprinting sessions is a plan that incrementally builds the design, leveraging approaches such as Sprint or Kanban and defining the objectives to be achieved in the Sprints. The figure below provides the view of the various sprints that are planned over the business blueprinting cycle and the key building blocks of design that will be incrementally built and reviewed over the period of blueprinting.
The Blueprint Breakdown
The Kick-off and Planning Sprint is Sprint 0 that plans the remaining sprints and ensure that the User Stories for at least the next 1-2 sprints are refined, estimated and prioritized.
Foundation Sprints focus on design building blocks like Organization Structure and Master Data Components. The foundation sprints provide the building blocks that are the foundation for the Core Process Sprints.
While Agile process focuses on frequent interactions, it required planning for Integration Sprints, where the design can be validated for Impact Analysis to other projects or process areas. Frequent interaction ensures that any design dependencies and issues are validated regularly. Core Process Sprints focus on the process with initial emphasis on designing the regular transaction process and the later month-end processing transactions.
Finally, the Agile Design Process phase emphasizes the regular interaction and validation of user stories. The associated documentation which is key to exit the Business Blueprint phase is incrementally built in the various sprints. The Design Finalization Sprint focuses on completion and sign-off of the deliverables based on the design built.
The above approach helps in to build a design incrementally, that is validated at regular intervals, and ensures that the design is integrated with the other process areas while keeping the stakeholders engaged in the design process as it is built.
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