Near-Site Agile: Scaling Agile with Real-World Constraints

This paper will provide a description of Near Site Agile and it’s advantages for scaling custom software development, especially for public sector clients. Near Site Agile splits agile teams so PMs and BAs work onsite with the customer, and developers and testers work from nearby delivery centers where labor rates are significantly lower. This allows the developers to travel to client site as needed for agile ceremonies and client relationship buidling, while also providing the scalability of an outsourced delivery center for team cost, flexibility and crosstraining. The trick is staying “agile” despite the lack of colocation and resulting pressures for both clients and contractors to matrix or departmentalize project teams.

Lessons learned will be drawn and evaluated from IBM’s project of the year winner for project management, Electronic Records Administration 2. This project used Near-Site Agile to deliver cutting edge custom cloud-based appications to process and access petabytes of data for the National Archives despite significant budget, facility, and schedule constraints.

Transitioning Software Development and Operations Lab to Agile – Lessons Learned

UMD Center for Advanced Transportation Technology Laboratory (CATT Lab) is an applied research lab employing 30 full time professional developers and project managers, as well as 60-90 students ranging across disciplines including computer science, computer and electrical engineering, GIS, digital art and entertainment, etc. The Lab is a leading big data visual analytics developer for state, local, and federal agencies to support transportation operations and planning efforts. For over a decade this functional organization followed traditional waterfall and spiral development processes. In early 2015, the CATT Lab transitioned to a cross-functional agile framework for managing all of the software projects and operations. With benefits came a lot of challenges. This presentation will outline the experienced improvements, obstacles, and lessons learned.