Highlights From The Bridge on November 19: Discussing the Agile Software Development Process

On November 19th at 11 am on WJLA; and 6PM on News Channel 8 Host of The Bridge Jim McCarthy was joined by R. Dennis Gibbs (Director, Center for Agile Innovation, GDIT), Dr. Patrick McConnell, (Director, Agile Center of Excellence, CSRA) and Victoria Figaro, (President, The EndGoal Group) to discuss in-depth the Agile development process, the panel’s experience with its implementation, and the application of Agile’s methodology outside the world of software development.

Highlights from the Show:

Jim McCarthy: Vicky in your view, what is the essence of Agile?

Victoria Figaro: The essence of agile is the continuous collaboration between the delivery teams and the customer. The delivery teams come together with the customer on a standard cadence, ideally a daily basis, to design, develop and get incremental feedback on the product they’re delivering.

Jim Mccarthy: Patrick it seems to me that Agile development and implementation is as much a management challenge, as well as a technical challenge, am I reading that right?

Dr. Patrick McConnell: Well more than management I’d say it’s a collaboration challenge.  So if we are gonna own as a vendor the responsibilities of delivering the software in tight spirals, our customers have to own the responsibility of collaborating with us, all the time. Or else we’re not gonna be very successful. It doesn’t matter how great my team is if we build the wrong things in the wrong way, so it’s really about both sides working together.

Jim McCarthy: I’ve heard it said that Agile is or can be, transformative, is that true and why?

Dennis Gibbs: I’d say there is an atmosphere of continual learning that is prevalent throughout the Agile processes. We certainly learn techniques and new ways of doing things but there’s a process of continual learning and trying to attack risks early in the life cycle. There’s also a transition on the customer’s side as well. With Waterfall, the customer would typically throw a big batch of requirements over the wall and we’d see them during major milestone reviews and that would be about it. With Agile, it requires a lot of participation by the customer to assess our progress as we demonstrate what we’ve produced as time goes on.

Jim McCarthy: If I’m not a software developer, why do I care about Agile?

Dr. Patrick McConnell: If you’re a stakeholder and, we’re doing it well, it means you’re going to get what you want sooner. And it’s going to be closer to what you actually have asked for.

For more information about The Bridge, check: http://thebridgeontv.com/ or stream the episode HERE https://vimeo.com/242806566)

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