Why Agile Development is a Must for Process Automation - Part 2

Why Agile Development is a Must for Process Automation - Part 2

Posted by Tracie Hummel on Jul 27, 2016 2:03:23 PM
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agile methodology for process automationIn the first post of this series, we explored the overall benefits of agile methodology, and explored how an agile approach can be beneficial to financial services firms who want to implement some sort of process improvement/automation solution, but aren’t sure where to start or what to ask for. This post will explore the opposite challenge—when firms think they know exactly what they want in their solution from the beginning. We’ll call this Scenario B.

Scenario B happens when a firm wants to implement a process automation solution and approaches the project with little flexibility. This scenario can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • A previously failed project caused increased anxiety, leading the firm to over-plan and/or spend too much time documenting requirements
  • A firm’s technology delivery model prohibits the type of collaboration needed between the business and technology partners in order to provide the best possible solution
  • Project stakeholders think they know exactly what they want in the solution

Ultimately, Scenario B will result in a solution identical to what was stated in the original requirements document. While this may seem like a positive thing, it causes lengthened timelines and other unforeseen consequences. Some of the repercussions that may occur as a result of Scenario B include:

  • Extended project timeline to incorporate requirement documentation – Firms can spend an enormous amount of time in the initial phase of a project by having the business partners document detailed requirements when requirements may need to evolve during the delivery process. This can lead to additional project costs.
  • Delay in the implementation of a working solution – If a firm insists that a solution have a certain set of requirements, it actually takes longer to implement a working solution since each requirement must be addressed before any benefits are realized.
  • Inability to incorporate client feedback – When a firm approaches a project with a rigid set of requirements, they lose the chance to incorporate client feedback throughout the process. Even if the original set of requirements included some client requests or suggestions, these may evolve over time.

If a firm can commit to an agile approach for a process improvement or automation project, they will reap the benefits and overcome the challenges associated with Scenario B:

  • Firms can enjoy increased efficiencies much sooner since agile promotes “early and continuous delivery of valuable software”
  • Since agile methodology welcomes changing requirements, firms can incorporate client, user and stakeholder feedback along the way
  • Similarly, instead of getting too far down the development process without ensuring the initial requirements solve the problem the solution is fixing, firms have a chance for continuous feedback and improvement

If you’re interested in learning more about our process automation solutions, or would like to learn more about how you can overcome some of the typical challenges associated with them, get in touch with us by clicking the button below:

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Topics: Business Process Automation

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