// Innovation by Kayentis // R&D moves into an ‘Agile’ mode of operation
18 July 2017
How the Agile mode, implemented in Kayentis’ R&D department, improves the quality of solutions as well as client satisfaction.
It’s now over a year since we – Kayentis R&D – decided to modify our development methods from classic ‘life cycle’ approaches to a new mode of operation referred to as ‘Agile’.
Although the classic ‘life cycle’ and new ‘Agile’ methods have several points in common, such as an iterative approach centred on the user, the ‘Agile’ method adds real value for a range of project stakeholders:
Above all, client satisfaction
This is at the centre of all of our processes. The client collaborates with the Kayentis development team to construct the required software based on the client’s needs, and to adapt and further refine it during the development process. For our R&D department the client can be simply the ‘Sponsor’, but more often is the Project Leader in charge of the studies and the data management teams. The primary objective of the ‘Agile’ methods is to ensure genuine satisfaction rather than purely the execution of the initial contract.
before thinking ‘product’
‘Agile’ methods favour the meeting of expectations and needs, rather than simply delivering functionality or products.
R&D teams are involved and empowered
‘Auto-organisation’ of the development team is one of the fundamental principles of the ‘Agile’ methodology, allowing the team to prioritise its creativity and favour a collective team spirit. In this way, exchanges are increased and knowledge is more easily shared, leading to a team that is more involved and empowered.
This organisation involves each team member to a greater extent, with the whole team sharing both the highs and lows of the project. The feeling of team efficiency and collaboration are essential elements of success.
Quality above quantity in Agile mode
The importance of quality over quantity is underlined.
Better project visibility
for better management of priorities
- ‘Agile’ methods allow better visibility on both the progress of a project and problems encountered. All project stakeholders meet regularly so discuss the project’s progress and to debate the priorities. The involvement of all stakeholders, not only R&D, leads to the smooth running of the project.
- ‘Agile’ methods favour continuous improvement cycles, with better project longevity.
- The only downside to ‘Agile’ methodology is that, by prioritizing direct dialogue, ‘Agile’ methods use documentation that is certainly pertinent and precise, and also easy to read, light, and straightforward in nature. However, the lack of traceability of change requests, formal approval, and other classical method documentation processes are frequently perceived to be limitations of ‘Agile’ methods.
- To address this, and to ensure a robust audit trail for all our R&D projects, we have decided to document all project updates or modifications, in order to trace every meeting, decision, and all approvals of all documents.
The transition to ‘Agile’ methodology is not spontaneous or unplanned, but is implemented using iterations as part of continuous improvements, and leads to a strong improvement in the functioning of the R&D team as well as increasing everyone’s satisfaction of the final product. Today, Kayentis is proud to promote this R&D methodology, for its clients as well as for its internal teams.
Please contact us if you have any specific development expectations.