Creating Your Own Accelerated Application Delivery Team(s)

An accelerated application delivery team needs to rapidly develop new applications faster than traditional methods. It means optimising the speed of application delivery and reviewing the key parts of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Software developments start with a purpose. This typically is someone or a group of people that have a volume or complexity issue in need of automation. These needs can be triggered by an idea to improve something, a problem to resolve, a need to implement new regulation, or needs something new, for example, to take a new product to market. Typically the user(s) will discuss with business analysts their requirements and then depending the developers using waterfall or agile the process fully begins. We shall focus on the latter – agile but in a general way, not specifically referring to scrum, extreme programming or any other methods.

One of the agile premises that all methods buy into is that working software will be more useful and welcomed than just presenting documents to users in meetings. Agile therefore tries to reach the point of working software as soon as possible. Having working software, typically a minimum viable product (MVP), enables users to get the earliest possible value and then better direct the software development team based on real life usage of the solution. Equally the earlier they receive the MVP, the quicker they start reaping value.

One way to reach a MVP quicker is to use model driven / rapid application development tools. The visibility of a model improves the interactions between users and the development teams reducing misconceptions, misinterpretations and misunderstandings because visible models for the domain / data models, business rules, business processes and business logic make the application far more understandable for all. Visibility is not the advantage that impacts performance. Creating models is far easier and quicker than writing program code and it reduces errors and lowers the risk. Tools like the Mendix platform use the models to generate the actual application in just one click, saving considerable time. So users get to see what their application looks like at the very earliest possible time, even pre-MVP, and in a manner that improves interactions with each other. Even when applications built and gone live, models help new personnel understand the application far better than them having to read program source code.

Model driven / rapid application development tools typically have deployment features that allow for one click deployment again saving valuable time migrating the application through the various testing stages of the SDLC into a live environment. With writing program code and migrating applications these tools cut down the amount of mistakes made, again speeding up the process and reducing the risk.

One you have speeded up application delivery and reduced risks it is time to implement your first accelerated application delivery team. The justification is easy. Delivery more for less, including bringing forward new application delivery dates, reduce the backlog of change requests sooner, extend the life of legacy systems though easier modernisation and integrations, respond to competitive threats quicker and become more competitive by bringing new products to market much faster. All these will bring the expected business value in earlier.