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Living Simultaneously With and Without Agile

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by Simon Storm on 31 March 2014

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Transcript of Living Simultaneously With and Without Agile

Promontory Interfinancial Network
Financial Services Technology Company
Excess FDIC Insurance through CDARS & ICS
Online Asset Marketplace with BankAssetpoint.com
Audited, Examined, Poked and Probed
Living Simultaneously
With and Without Agile

Credit: http://www.wildculture.com/sites/default/files/DR.JEKYLL_AND_MR.HYDE___31_.jpg
Common Agile Pitfalls
Why were we successful?
Executive buy-in
Support from our business
Cross department support
Strong technical talent
Consulting dollars
Additional positions available
Small, co-located team
Insurmountable Technical Debt
Afraid to make changes
Long release cycles
Every enhancement is hard
No automation
Long regression testing cycles
Regularly introduce new bugs with fixes
Huge learning curve
Compounding Productivity Gains
Over a year of two week sprints ending with a deployment
Velocity increasing
Bugs decreasing
Communication improving
Meetings are more effective
Deployments require only one team instead of six
Business understands and appreciates methodology
The Last Bullet.....
Two Products

Two Maturities

Two Experiences
Continuous huh? Test driven what?
Credit: http://pubsecrets.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/bride-screaming.jpg
Promontory's Agile Transformation
Executive Support
Business Support
Dedicated Teams
Sound Strategy
Culture of Continuous Improvement

Continuous Integration
Continuous Delivery
Test Automation
CDARS / ICS
Bank Assetpoint
The unexpected cost.....
New deployment strategies needed like feature toggles
Needed a more robust version control system
Upgraded build tools to meet new requirements
Developers must be able to develop across all the tiers
Developers spend a large amount of time writing test cases
Quality Assurance Engineers learning to write Java
Business Analysts writing test cases in Gherkin
System, Application and Network Engineers writing Puppet manifests and learning Ruby
Oh.....and one more thing.....
The Application Needed to Be Rebuilt
Fundamental shift from developing a complex, highly configurable application to simple, easy to code application
Removed brand new web services tier
Chose to evolve application versus rebuild
- jury is still out
Automated tests required significant refactoring
How to get it done
Dedicated Feature Team
20% of capacity is dedicated to technical debt
One sprint every quarter is dedicated to technical debt
DevOps Team
Representation from Application Engineering, System Engineering, Network Engineering, Database Administrators, Development and Quality Assurance
Focused on implementing and evolving the deployment pipeline
Dedicated Automated Testing Team
Hired consulting firm including 3 senior java developers and 3 college students
Realizing the Agile Dream
Critical Resources
How do we cure Dr. Jekyll?
Stakeholder education
Highlight Assetpoint successes
Improve transparency
Planning
......We rebuild
Continuous Delivery - Humble & Farley
The Phoenix Project - Gene Kim
Local Area Meetups
Credit: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_btgNt2PdjX8/TU-KdqjiycI/AAAAAAAAAlo/yxO21_rEgas/s1600/screaming.jpg
Work starts to get easier
Things don't go wrong as often
Success begins to appear in the strangest places
People want to be a part of it
The impossible becomes attainable

Don't get discouraged
Without automation Agile is still beneficial
Improved communication
Better visibility
Easier to adapt to change
Less time wasted looking too far in the future
Make sure you weigh the benefits versus the costs
Needlessly breaking down tasks into small chunks
Too many long meetings
Consider a hybrid model
Introduce monthly retrospectives to a long waterfall project
Add daily stand-ups to improve communication
Consider alternative Agile implementations like Kanban
Understanding the importance of automation
What is Continuous Delivery
8 Principles of Continuous Delivery
The process for releasing/deploying software MUST be repeatable and reliable
Automate everything! 
If something is difficult or painful, do it more often 
Keep everything in source control
Done means “released”
Build quality in! 
Everybody has responsibility for the release process
Improve continuously
Promontory CD Pipeline
September 26th, 2013
Promontory CD Pipeline
Today
Promontory CD Pipeline
Static Code Analysis
Automated Testing
The New World.....
Bank Assetpoint
Pure Agile Implementation
Continuous Delivery
Push Button Deployments
Infrastructure as Code
Credit: http://nostalgic-radio.com/2012/12/22/hark-the-herald-angels-sing.aspx
Lack of Executive Commitment
Overburdened Teams
Weak Strategy (insufficient coaching, etc.)
Underestimating the Importance of Culture
Silo’d Agile Adoption
Practices Without Principles
Neglecting the Need for Technical Excellence
"Although Agile will improve most processes immediately, sustained improvement when building high quality software and systems in short cycles requires disciplined and rigorous technical practices like continuous integration and deployment, refactoring, test automation and test-driven development. This requires a culture of technical craftsmanship."
Source: http://www.agile42.com/en/blog/2013/06/06/agile-transformation-failure-success/
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