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Lean Agile: The Customer-Centric Approach to Software Development

—November 04, 2013
Lean Agile: The Customer-Centric Approach to Software Development

By Mike Bishop, Vice President, Product Development, Auto Casualty Solutions, Mitchell
Robin Peters, Manager, Business Systems Analysis, Auto Casualty Solutions, Mitchell

Technology companies using Agile development offer a variety of benefits for their customers, and ensure that the voice of the customer is truly integrated into all aspects of the software-development process.

Lean Agile is a software-development methodology that emphasizes incremental and iterative development, and is a departure from the more traditional waterfall style where work is planned and performed in a sequential manner (requirements, design, implementation, verification, maintenance). Where waterfall lends itself to so called “big-bang” releases, Lean Agile favors a more rapid and flexible approach where small amounts of functionality are delivered at more frequent intervals. This allows product organizations that employ Lean Agile concepts to be more responsive to customer requirements and needs as they evolve.

Lean Agile runs on a two-week cycle (termed a sprint), with the first few days devoted to planning and prioritizing what is next for development. Once the planning is completed for a specific sprint, the work is divided up among teams so the development is done in a simultaneous manner (as opposed to the sequential development in waterfall). The spirit of collaboration is essential to Lean Agile, since programmers and developers form self-directed teams to accomplish the many tasks necessary to create software.

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