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Why are Agile Development Practices Needed for Smooth Cloud Migrations?

When you are planning on moving to the cloud, you must take into consideration Agile development practices. Agile development basically refers to a sum total of many incremental software development methods. Each of these will be unique but they all share a common goal and core values. They involve continuous planning, testing, integration and evolution of both software and projects. These methods are all lightweight compared to traditional processes and inherently adaptable. The cloud essentially depends upon such methodologies. When you can adopt these Agile practices you are able to make cloud migrations easier and hassle-free. Your organization can step into the cloud faster and innovate right away.

Usually most businesses will choose the conventional approaches where designing and planning for a product release is likely to take months. There will be a long period for developing the product followed by testing it and then releasing the software finally which may or may not live up to its expectations. In contrast, an organization which chooses the Agile development methods starts off with a MVP or Minimum Viable Product which is the least needed for creating any product that is “testable”. When the MVP is created, extensions and features will get added following short developmental spells, each continuing for about 2 weeks. So, Agile helps to guarantee faster speeds and speed is obviously the most important factor in a digital era.

How can you use Agile for cloud migration?

– You will first have to identify the cloud hosting services that need Agile. This is because applications including the important Software as a Service or SaaS apps such as Salesforce must be continuously updated. With the rapidly evolving cloud applications, the organization cannot possibly stick to the old waterfall development methods.

– You can embrace Agile development methods as a company-wide effort. These technologies are typically first used by the engineering departments. This is why many businesses had been hesitant in using these practices because they felt this would only benefit the engineering teams. The truth is that without the operations personnel adopting such practices, the engineering teams will find it hard to function. Since the enhancements and features have to be approved by management team it is important to have these teams involved during the process too. So, with the engineering teams embracing the Agile methodologies the rest of the teams soon follow suit. Agile helps to make teamwork more effective and this is needed for managing and coordinating all the changes which are taking place at such a rapid pace. On the one hand the business becomes very responsive to buyers and on the other, it can respond faster to new market opportunities.

– When planning for a smooth cloud migration, you should also adopt the Agile development practices as part of the journey and not as a distinct exercise. Evolution to these practices is never going to happen overnight. It will end only when the organization enters a stage of continuous learning. So, you need a formal plan to adopt Agile and this plan must have routine training sessions and prefixed milestones.

– Even if you hire consultants for the migration, you must ensure these professionals make your internal teams a part of the journey. So, it is important that developers and operations staff work hand in hand with consultants and all the stakeholders must be part of the decision making exercises. Usually it is the business leaders who are unaware of this new style of development. They have to be helped so that they can successfully optimize Agile and exploit its advantages.

– Finally, the trick to making the Agile development practices work for you is to use the approach Lotito took to “eat his airplane”. You must break down the transition into small pieces and then handles these one instance at a time. So, what seems to be impossible at the beginning eventually becomes doable. You will need to have a lot of commitment and a solid plan for you to work incessantly to achieve your goals. If you can take baby steps, you are certain to reach the goal in no time. and it will only be a matter of time before you have a fully-functional Agile organization before you, one that is totally capable of handling all kinds of demands in today’s digital era.

Just like any new radically different method for conducting business, even the Agile methods have stirred quite a bit of controversy. The software community has been skeptical of its benefits although its usage in project after project has always yielded positive results. They have successfully delivered much better quality systems compared to traditional procedures in far less time. So, when you are working as a software professional, it makes sense to familiarize yourself with the Agile development practices.

About Abhay Singh (64 Posts)

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