Rapid Development (My Retrospective)

Many years ago I was introduced to the concept of rapid development.  At the time, my brother-in-law who also happened to be my manager presented me with this blog title’s namesake book “Rapid Development” by Steve Mcconnell.  I remember bringing the book with me on a business trip to Chicago and beginning the journey.  I was intrigued by the concepts presented by the author and the common sense suggestions to increasing development efficiencies.  I will not go into the details of the book, but if you are interested it is worth the read, even though it was published over 10 years ago in 1996.

At the time, I was implementing some of the concepts presented in the book.  I was part of small 3 member development & implementation team of CRM software.  We practiced short iterations, delivered high-risk features early, and regularly prototyped our user interface designs.  I continued development for many years, implementing CRM & service desk systems in many varying industry verticals.  Eventually I moved onto project management, and now am the program manager overseeing the development & operations initiatives at ThinkITSM.

At ThinkITSM we decided very early on into the development of our SAAS platform that we wanted to formally adopt Agile software development practices.  We started by implementing the quick-win formalities like “stand-up” meetings, set iterations timings, and story boards (KANBAN).  We then focused our attention to acquiring some tracking software (Mingle), and implementing continuous integration with cruisecontrol.net.  It has now been almost 10 months since implementing Agile.    If you polled any member of the development team, without a doubt you would hear resounding agreement speaking to the benefits this process has had for us.

Its now very nice to look back and see the path I took to eventually adopting Agile development practices; from my early days programming, when I prototyped user interfaces just because it seemed like the logical thing to do, to today where stand-up, iterations, and CI are like second nature.  They say what’s old is new again, for me this truly is the case.

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