According to our customer at a recent strategic planning session, Team ADEV is a “model of project and team level Agile Development implementation.” The ADEV program has very successfully used scrum methodology to frequently deliver working software with incremental, increased functionality for its suite of web applications. Plus, ADEV has exhibited the adaptability to support ever evolving requirements and changing priorities.
However, ADEVs web applications are just one (very important) piece of the customer enterprise level IT vision. Other mission partners contribute to this vision through delivering integrated parts of the system, acceptance testing, and operational support. Some of these partners still use a waterfall development paradigm. The need for coordination around lean processes to deliver high functionality has never been greater.
Beginning in the Fall of 2017, the customer is transitioning to a Scaled Agile Framework Enterprise (SAFe®) methodology across all programs. This approach creates a release train where all development sprints, dependencies, releases, and functionality across the various enterprise programs are fully aligned and delivered simultaneously. While specific applications will retain release numbers (e.g. 2.5.0), across the enterprise the aligned release will be assigned a common build number that all partners use and can refer to in documentation and discussions.
Even though ADEV has demonstrated its ability to execute Agile at a high level since its inception, moving to SAFe® still presents a few challenges. Shifting from a staggered release of its applications to delivering all applications to the customer on the same day, for example, will require some resource and process adaptations. The benefits of moving to SAFe®, however, are tremendous. Particularly better communication and coordination with the various mission partners, especially since the ADEV suite of web applications often rely on data provided by the partners in the form of web services.
So ADEV is ready to climb on the SAFe® release train. All aboard!!
Don Reed is a Senior Technical Writer and Project Support Specialist with the ADEV program. His background includes engineering and programing, project management, quality management and process improvement, and business-technical communication. Don has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a M.A. in Communication from Saint Louis University.