In the age of mobility and IoT, enterprise app development needs to be fast and flexible. While most enterprise development teams understand the need to shift left – to better integrate their teams and automate as much as possible – even the best intentions in the world, much like deadlines, can slip a little. Or maybe a lot.
If you’re experiencing challenges trying to implement Agile into your organization, what is the best way to get on track? As an experienced devotee of Agile, I can tell you that each project is different and presents its own complexities, but there are certain steps I recommend following no matter what.
Buckle up. It’s time to re-engineer your app development processes. Not to fear – It’s not as bad as you think!
Map your current practices
Whether you want to tweak one part of the process or you’re set for a big overhaul, it’s more than likely you already have a sense that you need to improve on the status quo. Perhaps you have an idea of where you are versus where you want to be. Formalizing that hunch into an auditing exercise is a great way to start the process. It doesn’t need to be complicated or lengthy, but you should consider which other stakeholders should have a say if you are going to be implementing organizational change. Demonstrating openness to other people’s inputs can be a great way of getting them on board, as well as a valuable way to evaluate the efficiency of areas with which you may not be personally familiar. Once you have a good understanding of the pros and cons of the current way of working, it’s time to look ahead at where you want to be.
Focus your strategy
Align your present initiatives to the overall goals of the business. At Infostretch, we’ve helped many major brands architect what we call the “blueprint” for developing and identifying the most appropriate best practices to create a foundation for continuous innovation and fast time to market. If you’re questioning how to redirect your efforts to focus on the right opportunities, working to the right plan is going to be instrumental in your success.
Do the hardest things first
With a clear understanding of where the pain points are, your next job is to deal with the big issues first. When you have a plan, the worst thing you can do is procrastinate. Sometimes I think of the dev process like a commute home during rush hour when you know you’ll hit traffic, which will slow your progress to a standstill. Whether you patiently join the line of traffic, or busily try to find alternate routes to avoid it, the best way to improve the journey would be to address the root of the problem; in other words, to fix the congestion.
The need for speed
When it comes to mobility and IoT initiatives, speed and quality have become the defining factors. Success or failure is predicated on being first to market with the best available version of the product. Similarly, expanding your footprint is another critical challenge enterprises face, once they have built a good base of customer engagement. If time to market is an issue, focus your attention on streamlining test/QA processes and automation. Make sure you, or your app development partner, are aware of the latest technologies in these areas. Whether you’re testing something for the first time or rolling out an existing project, streamlining test and automation is a key way to not only deliver faster time to market, but also to cut operational costs and improve market coverage. If your particular challenge is scaling an existing initiative quickly across multiple geographies, then the focus needs to be on how to achieve maximum operational alignment and impact. For instance, scale the resource required to accomplish the job and streamline efforts with your backend enterprise systems.
Don’t stop now
Mobility projects need to be sustained in order to reap their full rewards, whether the aim is increasing user adoption, improving engagement or monetization. Once the initial pain points are dealt with, keep up the momentum by looking at how best to optimize other stages of the initiative. Team members and other stakeholders are often most receptive to lending an ear, or even lending a hand, once it becomes clear that there have been tangible improvements already.
Once the initial overhaul is complete, there are two further considerations that will prolong the usefulness and longevity of the initiative. Firstly, ensure you are able to measure progress against the original goals, perhaps with real-time app review tracking, followed by remediation and verification to address any UX issues, for instance. Secondly, it’s critical to plan support for infrastructure readiness and compatibility with the latest technologies, devices and OS versions.
Good luck! If you feel you can benefit from any advice on your individual challenge, contact us today.