Here’s a familiar scenario. Some of your business stakeholders ask for a new software system to solve an important problem. After a long evaluation process, the new project is finally approved.
Over the next few months, or even a year, your organization spends countless hours in workshops to nail down the solution’s detailed functional requirements. The business stakeholders know they’ve got one chance to ask for all the features they think they might need — so they go for the whole nine yards.
With a 100-page laundry list of finalized requirements and features, IT outsources a small army of developers and ramps up a big project to deliver the new software. Initially, the business is promised a six-month turnaround. Six months pass and the software is still not complete; 18 months later, business stakeholders still haven’t seen a working version of the system.
If your stakeholders are lucky, they’ll see the first working version after 2 years — and it won’t meet their expectations or current priorities.
They realize that multiple pieces of necessary functionality are missing from the system, and the developers begin the painful process of adapting the new solution until it finally meets actual business needs.
What was supposed to be a 6-month project eventually turns into a 4-year project, and you’ve spent millions of dollars — with multiple budget and schedule overruns — to deliver a product that, well, doesn’t deliver.
How did you get here?
As we wave goodbye to 2018 and ring in 2019, you’re probably waiting for a number of large software projects that were promised to you by now, but are rolling into 2019 — with no real end in sight.
This is the world of Waterfall software development. It started in the manufacturing and construction industries, where highly structured physical environments made design changes prohibitively expensive early in the development process.
Decades ago, when the world of software was brand new and the software development industry didn’t know any better, waterfall became the default way to build software.
Here’s why simply borrowing waterfall development from the world of manufacturing and construction doesn’t work: People can easily imagine what a new bridge or car should do from a user perspective, but they don’t really know what a custom piece of software needs to do until they’ve seen a working version of it.
The Agile and Iterative and Incremental Development (IID) software development models were developed in response to the large-scale failure of the outdated waterfall model. These models let you review, test, and evaluate an initial version of working software, forcing you to prioritize a solution’s most crucial features and then quickly iterate towards an optimal version from there.
When agile or IID is implemented properly, the results are astoundingly good. These methods deliver new software in 2-3 months and rapidly adapt and enhance it based on business user feedback, quickly reaching a point of extraordinary return on investment. Agile leaders quickly become digital leaders.
Despite the proven success and advantages of agile and IID, most large companies don’t successfully make the change because they’re stuck with a decades-old waterfall model and find it extremely hard to transition out of it.
One of the major factors prohibiting companies from transitioning to agile is the big cost of adapting software after it has been developed. The cost of changing software is keeping companies from becoming agile.
It’s common to look in-house first for a solution, but most large companies are stuck with legacy technology stacks with terrible agility. On the other hand, too many of the app development platforms that have jumped into the market fall also short on the benchmark of agility.
Solving this problem of agility requires a technology platform that makes adapting solutions as easy, inexpensive, and risk-free as possible.
That’s why we created the JourneyApps Platform — the leading agile custom app platform purpose-built for the needs of industrial companies.
After 10 years of research and development, JourneyApps has fine-tuned a series of unique innovations in our platform that puts it far ahead of the competition in agility, with features like our vertically integrated full stack, powerful universal data handling capabilities, unique balance of customizability versus speed, devops ideal state, and serverless integration paradigm.
A new year is a great time for a fresh start. See what the JourneyApps Platform can do for you in 2019. (And we mean 2019.)
Learn more at journeyapps.com/platform