Why Agile Development Is A Must for Process Automation Projects - Part I

Why Agile Development Is A Must for Process Automation Projects - Part I

Posted by Tracie Hummel on Mar 22, 2016 9:36:04 AM
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using agile development for process automation softwareAs its name suggests, agile development methodology requires a level of flexibility and adaptability. Professionals from any industry who have embarked on a process automation project or solution implementation know that the success of their project is dependent on a commitment to flexibility. But this is especially true for financial services firms. Between the evolving expectations of today’s investors and the constantly changing regulatory landscape, flexibility is vital.

As a firm who has helped some of the nation’s leading financial services firms implement varied process automation solutions from new account opening and client onboarding to asset movement and more, we’ve seen first-hand that an open mind and commitment to agile development is key to overcoming some of the most common challenges inherent in process automation projects.

In this 2-part blog series, we’ll explore two of the most challenging and common scenarios we’ve experienced and show how agile methodology has helped the project succeed. This post focuses on Scenario A.


In this scenario, a firm knows they want to implement some sort of process automation solution to improve efficiency, reduce costs and respond to regulatory changes, but doesn’t quite know what to ask for or simply doesn’t have the time to document requirements up-front. This scenario can occur for a variety of reasons:

  • Those responsible for implementing the solution are also busy managing daily operations, so there is not enough time to think through all the business use cases or scenarios.
  • This is the first project of its kind for the firm.
  • There is not enough in-house subject matter expertise about the business problems the solution will solve.

Because agile promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, and continuous change and improvement, it is a natural solution to this scenario. For firms who aren’t able to easily articulate exactly what they want in a solution from the get-go—or have the time to do so—agile allows them the flexibility to deliver small changes over time. In addition:

  • Instead of spending too much time trying to identify the specifications for the solution up-front, firms in this scenario are able to implement a working product or solution in production early on in the process, following the principle of the Agile Manifesto that promotes “early and continuous delivery of valuable software.”
  • Similarly, this approach aligns with the Agile principle that “working software is delivered frequently, in weeks rather than in months.”
  • An agile approach allows firms in this scenario to incorporate client feedback during the development lifecycle and into the end-product.
  • Since agile methodology welcomes changing requirements, even in late stages of development, firms in this scenario aren’t required to identify all of the requirements in the beginning. In fact, that approach is discouraged.  

For firms who are looking to change through the implementation of a process automation solution but don’t have the time or subject matter expertise to document all the requirements up-front, agile methodology is an effective way to begin delivering software solutions quickly.

In our next post, we’ll explore how agile methodology can be advantageous for firms that have the opposite challenge—they think they know exactly what they want in the solution from the beginning. Until then, feel free to contact IFS to learn how our process automation solutions can help your firm by clicking the button below:

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Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agile_software_development

Topics: Business Process Automation, New Account Opening, Financial Services Industry, Useful Resources

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