The main purpose of Agile is that one should start delivering business value (vertical slices) of the solution on a continuous basis with Program Increment (PI) and two to three week Scrums. Agile is like any other technology. It can be used to great effect, or abused to dismal failure. There are many reasons why this is so.
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) provides a benchmark to allow Agile to scale with the effective use of Scrum, Development, Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD). Where Agile has failed is primarily on account of ineffective Product Ownership. This is a crucial element of the team alongside the Scrum Master and Scrum Team that determines success or failure.
The terms “Definition of done” and “Acceptance Criteria” need to be clearly understood.
“Definition of Done” means the story has been completed, the unit tests have been run, there are no bugs in the code, the code has been checked in, it has been peer-reviewed, and because Security is paramount – the checklists on Security have been documented. “Acceptance Criteria” needs to be very clear in terms of its business value. This section of the log book needs to be completed, and the code should be compiling and tested. This is where Product Owners and Scrum teams get together!
It is imperative to have a lot of good stories, with three points or less. One needs to break the stories down into something one can actually visualize. For instance, if one begins a 5-point story in the second week, one ought not to get any credit for that. Stories should get done within the Sprint, and shouldn’t be leaked into the next Sprint. Stories get completed during the retrospective part of the Sprint.
In the final blog on this subject, we will cover the importance of team cohesion in Agile.
VP, Digital & Security Practice