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IT leader’s guide to Agile development

Originally Published:
Jan 2017

Under the right circumstances—and implemented in the right way—Agile development can enable nimble, responsive projects that offer faster delivery and continuous improvement. This ebook covers the pros and cons of the Agile model to help you determine how it might benefit your organization, as well as where you might encounter resistance or problems.

From the ebook:

Lately, there has been discussion of a “blurring” of Agile methodologies with design thinking. These are two philosophies with different terminologies, practiced by different groups of people, that have the same goal—to provide elegant and continuously improving technology solutions that serve users and customers. This blurring may be necessary with software release cycles now going into the hours or even minutes for some businesses.

Does it make sense to bring them closer together? While Agile and design thinking come from two different places, the similarities are striking.

“Both processes seek input from beyond the team doing the work,” said Matt Cooper-Wright, senior design lead at IDEO. “For designers this is user research, business needs, and technology possibilities. For software development this looks more like a backlogs, user stories, and success metrics. Both processes also embrace iteration and ongoing refinement. Design is more about jumping backwards and forwards where software is the continuous loop of development—but both talk to the same notion of ongoing refinement.”

The two modes of work naturally blend together, and Tom Roach, UX & interaction designer on IBM’s Watson team, offered some guidelines on how to make the fusion happen. It’s a process that involves journey mapping, “to capture what the team currently understands about their user’s existing experience, what we call the as-is experience,” to ideation to storyboarding with teams.

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