Embracing agile software development with Code Halos
By Jayajyoti Sengupta August 4, 2015
- To leverage Code Halo thinking, companies will need new tech-driven solutions
- These tools will radically transform how work is managed throughout an organisation
ACROSS the agile lifecycle management process, programmers, business partners and tools constantly spawn Code Halos – digital information that surrounds people, processes, organisations and devices.
From Amazon to Netflix, consumer-oriented business leaders of today compete on code by extracting insights from their Code Halos.
Leaders in these industries utilise Code Halo thinking in the form of data-driven insights to predict customers’ preferences and demands, as well as the market trajectory.
While Code Halo thinking was originally established from online retailing and media/ entertainment, it is also increasingly becoming applicable to internal enterprise operations, such as software development.
Analysts have noted that enterprises are progressively undertaking agile development to keep pace with fast-evolving digital business scenarios.
In fact, by 2020, the Code Halo thinking will permeate IT organisations – specifically those that have already embraced an agile development approach.
To leverage Code Halo thinking internally, companies will require new technology-driven solutions that will be largely steered by unprecedented approaches to software development and management.
These agile and associated application lifecycle management (ALM) tools are set to produce Code Halos that will radically transform how work is managed throughout the organisation.
What is agile, and what’s not?
With organisations facing pressure to accelerate application development, traditional and non-agile application methods may not be able to provide adequate support.
For instance, the waterfall method: Six months for requirements definition, 18 months to bring new business capabilities into the hands of eager users, and up to 12 months to make necessary changes to get the software into production.
The agile method stands in stark contrast to the waterfall method. At the heart of agile are 12 principles guiding software development in organisations. These principles centre on working products, flexibility that contributes to less disruptive change, and collaborative teams.
With most agile methodologies, production-ready software is produced in smaller portions at a regularly-paced rhythm of weeks that accelerates time-to-value.
As such, when the software development programme begins, flexibility and predictability is significantly boosted when business value is prioritised in these smaller portions of work.
With the agile method, work accumulates with insights to be derived upon, while also allowing reprioritisation and tweaking in accordance with alternating business conditions.
In turn, more fluid and collaborative application development results in code that is better aligned with business requirements.
Embracing agile Code Halos
Arguably, Code Halo thinking has started working its way into agile IT organisations. According to the different stages of the Crossroads Model, agile Code Halos ‘ionise,’ ‘spark’ and ‘enrich’ over time, revolutionising industries in their wake.
- Ionisation: During the Ionisation stage, the context has to be set for agile Code Halos to ignite. The conditions for Ionisation to arise include increasing the computer literacy of participants and computing power, as well as accelerating the pressure for faster solutions and the desire of participants for meaningful work and human collaboration.
- Spark: The influx of advanced application lifecycle management (ALM) tools supports more efficient software development processes and innovations. When agile Code Halos are allowed to spark, they emerge around individuals, teams, processes and the application code itself. By leveraging Code Halo thinking, organisations are primed to spark agile software development.
- Enrichment: During the Enrichment stage, Code Halos expand and grow in scale to permeate the agile software development process. As the programme’s Code Halo quantifies user demand and business benefits, overall planning becomes product-focused and enterprise-wide. User demand will be established based on continuous requirements-gathering processes that involve grooming and prioritising a backlog of stories. In turn, IT responds by using predictable, short cycles or sprints of software delivery activity, managed through tool-enabled performance metrics to quantify the supply and delivery trajectory.
At the Crossroads
The Crossroads juncture is where market dominance typically flips. Traditional leaders that have failed to adopt Code Halo principles are usurped by digitally-savvy businesses.
In the agile software development context, this occurs when IT no longer relies on waterfall development approaches.
Many leading agile organisations are nearing the Crossroads. Some have completely replaced waterfall software development models, distant and disconnected IT-business relationships and a lack of digitally-captured performance metrics, with new and agile structures and behaviours that continuously enrich, apply and distil digital information contained in programme Code Halos.
Others have even included support organisations and contracting vehicles in their Code Halo models to yield even greater benefits.
Where Halos enable agility
Think about the advantage that Amazon has over traditional retailers, Amazon has more than a decade’s worth of available customer feedback hooked into its planning and distribution processes.
Similar to how the online review capability that Amazon has built brings the business closer to its customers, agile Code Halos too contain valuable digital insights.
Organisations that have closely aligned Code Halo thinking with agile methods are unleashing software development activities that are focused on what matters.
Applying Code Halo principles to agile programmes is, indeed, transformative. By competing on their agile programme Code Halos to inform software program management, companies are more consistent in effectively and predictably building software applications that rapidly identify, create and meet their unique business objectives in a timely fashion.
The digital intelligence from IT-business partnerships and rapid cycles of customer feedback continuously feed insights into agile software processing, and the benefits accrue continuously and quickly for leaders.
[This article has been amended slightly from its original for greater clarification]
Jayajyoti Sengupta is vice president and head of Asean and Greater China at Cognizant Technology Solutions.
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