1Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Kathmandu University Dhulikhel, Kavre, Nepal
Corresponding author details:
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Copyright: © 2019 Sharma G, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 international License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
There are several methods that are used in system or software development incorporating
information technology, among them AGILE are one of the method which are widely used in
recent days. Most of the systems these days are of dynamic in nature that means the software
needs time to time update to meet the current market needs. The quality of a system is
ensured when it has ideally no bugs, no errors and meets the requirement specifications; for
this also AGILE method plays a significant role. Research and development center in Nepal
for Verscend Inc., Waltham, MA, US offers risk-assessment services and decision analytics
being based on US health care. Verscend Technologies has 311 members performing
different scale of job to build up healthcare informatics solution that helps end user to
manage their health risk. Adaptation of AGILE methodology in Research & Development
department of Verscend Information Technology has been evaluated in the research paper.
Significance of the methodology has been analyzed through survey conducted within the
organization among the professionals. More of positive aspects observed were; time boxing,
flexibility, risk and cost control, simplicity and ease, team strength, individual visibility,
and valuable Product and customer satisfaction. Few negative aspects observed were;
Unpredictability, lack of cohesion and re-work. These results were perceived regarding the
way scrum is implemented in the department. With all of these observation and survey it
has been found that AGILE methodology would catalyze the system development cycle if
adapted with perfection.
AGILE; SCRUM; R&D; XP; DSDM; FDD; ASD; Crystal
Verscend Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is one of the leading software companies in Nepal. It is the only research and development center in Nepal for Verscend Inc, Waltham, MA, US. The company offers risk-assessment services and decision analytics being based on US health care. Verscend Technologies Pvt. Ltd. has 311 members performing different scale of job to build up healthcare informatics solution that helps end user to manage their health risk.
R & D department is the biggest department of the company collaborating six circular structured cross-functional teams. R & D department has 62 professionals focusing on the analytical and research specific job with the common goal of making company stay ahead of the technology curve. R & D is AGILE focused department adapting the following principles in the SCRUM framework.
|Agile Development Method||Agile (Management/
|Agile data warehousing|
|Dynamic system development
Qumer A et al.  developed an analytical framework (4-DAT) that evaluated the degree of agility in six selected agile methods and two traditional methods (waterfall and spiral) (Table 2). This analytical framework can be used to select a suitable agile method in system engineering. As investigated by Fowler , the crystal method is a public-centered method. Crystal method focuses on dividing work into incremental speed. Each increment tacks some iteration to complete.
|Project size||Small, medium||Small,
applications) ||Large and
projects||Small and large
Applications)||Small and medium|
|Team size||<10||<10 and
from small to large
mentioned||Minimum 2 and
Maximum 6 (Multiple
teams)||Single team in crystal clear
with maximum 6 people
in a team. Multiple teams
with maximum 40 persons
in orange and 80 persons
in red methodology|
cooperative||Iterative and rapid
|Code style||Clean and
simple ||Not specified||Not specified||Not
mentioned||Not mentioned||Not mentioned|
required||Not specified||Not specified||Not
mentioned||Not mentioned||Not mentioned|
teams (limitedinteraction)||Not specified||Not specified||Co-located
teams ||Not mentioned||Co-located team- no
support for distributed
cooperative||Not specified||Not specified||Not specified||Collaborative and
High level differences between the agile methods have been outlined through (Figures 1). Methods are ranked according to the degree of agility evaluated through the research done by Qumer A et al. . According to the analysis,
Figure 1: Comparison of the degree of agility
In traditional method DSDM had not originated as agile method and it was recently added in the list of agile approach. The agile critical success factors are highlighted in Table 3.
Strong executive support
Committed sponsor or manager
Cooperative Organizational culture instead of hirerchal
Oral culture placing high value on face-to-face communication
Organizations where agile methodology is universally accepted
Reward system appropriate for agile
Facility with proper agile-style work environment
Collocation of the whole team
Team members with high competence and expertise
Team members with great motivation
Managers knowledgeable in agile process
Managers, who have light-touch or adaptive management style
Coherent, self-organizing team work
Good customer relationship
Following agile-oriented requirement management process
Following agile-oriented project management process
Following agile-oriented configuration management process
Strong communication focus with daily face-to-face meetings
Honoring regular working schedule-no overtime
Strong customer commitment and presence Customer having full authority
Well-defined coding standards up front
Pursuing simple design
Rigorous refactoring activities
Right amount of documentation
Regular delivery of software
Delivering most important features first
Correct integration testing Appropriate technical training to team
Being focused on the research purpose to evaluate the adaptation of agile methodology in system development cycle, survey was conducted among the professionals from the R&D department of Verscend Information Technology.
Participants: Out of 62 professionals, 50 of them took part in the survey.
Tools: Participants were provided with the questionnaire that had two questions regarding scrum implementation.
Procedure: Participants were requested to collect the questionnaire
from the reception desk. They filled out the questionnaire with
their choice of answer and submitted those back to the reception
desk. I also had a small session with one of the scrum team. As team
discussed the efficiency and limitations of scrum adaptation, I noted
down the points that would support my research.
Out of 50 participants, 34 of them agreed that the use of Scrum in
their work is making the job more efficient. 9 of the participants are
not satisfied with the way scrum is adapted in the organization and
5 of them believed that it can be adapted in a better way. 2 of them
don’t feel that their project needs the agile approach (Figures 2 & 3).
Figure 2: Survey on reason behind adapting scrum
Figure 3: Survey on significance of adaptation of scrum
Most participants feel that the adaptation of Scrum is beneficial
to the organization whereas few of them believe that the adaptation
process can be further improved. Evaluation of scrum has been done
based on survey result and discussion session with the team. More of
positive aspects & few negative aspects of scrum implementation in
the organization were seen through the research.
Agile is principled yet flexible project management framework. Developers and client, both are involved in the development cycle and this collaborative aspect increases the value of the product. Adaptation of agile reduces the risk of client dissatisfaction & product defects. Proper exposure and visibility boost the morale of developers. Iterative planning process makes the adaptation of requirement changes easier. Despite of all the positive factors, agile has been misconceptualized as unprofessional and undisciplined framework.
If understood properly and adapted well, for future work study of
Agile is the only way to keep the company ahead of the competition
with fast product releases & changes adaptability [6-10]. Efficiency
of the Agile methodology depends on public factor such as user
involvement, communication and documentation skill. If these
factors are made strong then the Effectiveness of the method would
take the height.
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