Solutionsonsite launches agile training aimed at business
Solutionsonsite, an agile software training company, has introduced a training course for business professionals involved in managing agile software development.
According to the company, the two-day Agile Business Analyst course is the only ICAgile-accredited training programme in Africa and Europe, specifically addressing the need for better business requirements management in today’s instant-gratification, Web-driven software development market.
The course will conclude its first run in Cape Town on 16 March and will then be offered in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg on an ongoing basis. Solutionsonsite is developing an online version of the course for other regions in Africa and abroad.
Sue Bramhall, consultant and owner of Solutionsonsite, says the course is designed to teach business analysts and other professionals tasked with running the agile development process how to better understand, manage and deliver business requirements in an agile environment.
She points out while extensive training is already available for different aspects of agile and its various methodologies, there’s little by way of targeted training that helps business analysts and product owners learn and master the agile business requirements management process.
“One of the important things we teach in the new course is how to move away from lengthy detailed documents and translate software requirements, in an incremental way, to accommodate agile techniques such as sprints and stories,” says Bramhall. Unlike traditional development methodologies that require extensive periods of research and analysis before the start of a project, agile works on the premise that business conditions continually change, she says. Therefore, short and productive development sprints are used to derive maximum value from projects in a short amount of time, adds Bramhall.
According to Lyndon King, software delivery manager at BSG, there is increasingly more interest in implementing agile practices by large organisations.
In SA, the pressure on businesses to innovate and get to market quicker is driving organisations to be more receptive to change in the traditional linear systems development lifecycle.
As technology becomes used increasingly for customer interaction that is more volatile in nature than well-defined internal business processes, the flexibility that Agile offers becomes more attractive, says King.
However, insufficient resources of skilled agile practitioners is negatively impacting organisations’ ability to implement enterprise-scale agile programmes and projects, he adds. King believes what is needed is more engagement between the private and public sectors as well as academia to develop skills the industry needs.
“If an organisation moves too quickly to adopt Agile for a complex, large-scale programme, the culture change may not be appreciated or there may not be sufficiently skilled teams. The result may be a high profile failure that taints the Agile philosophy as ineffective.”