Go Agile for the bigger picture: Act 3

Explore Assurity 15 July 2013 Adam Howard

In Acts 1 and 2, I detailed the ways in which an intrepid group of Assuritans employed agile techniques to develop an award-winning mockumentary screenplay.

Here, we complete the journey to the red carpet by looking at how, when it came to actually filming our masterpiece, we elected to deliver it in sprints and employ a model of continuous delivery.

Whereas traditional productions would have seen us engage on a long on-location shoot before retreating into the darkness of the editing studio to bring it all together, we shot and edited our film scene by scene and continually pieced the final product together like a jigsaw.

This meant that while other teams had to invest in costly reshoots after production had wrapped, we were able to get immediate feedback on whether a scene had worked or needed to be re-done and reshoot it before our actors forgot their lines or broke character.

We also had our editing team up and running from the word go, aware that, if disaster struck, we would at least have a few fully edited scenes with soundtrack in place and snappy dialogue ready to present at the screening, rather than a collection of fragmented and indiscriminate cuts that didn’t hang together.

In software terms, we can think of this as breaking down a solution into bite-sized chunks of functionality that can be delivered in a complete state at rapid intervals, giving the business an early look at finished software and allowing a faster feedback loop.

After all, where is the sense in spending months or years developing a whole series of incomplete and inter-dependent pieces of functionality before attempting to meld them all into a seamless whole and launch the system into the live world in one big bang?

Surely the more sensible approach is to gradually develop small, but interlocking pieces of finished and integrated software that can be launched sooner – even with a limited range of initial functionality – to better allow early adopter feedback and the evolution of future deliveries to be shaped by genuine consumer needs.

That’s a wrap: hitting the red carpet