Agile is about delivering. Every business application development team today wants to break out of cyclic and move towards continuous value delivery. That’s what Sclable is made for. From day one of your project.

The time-to-market Challenge

Imagine a business application such as a supply chain management for some highly specialized industry with a lot of company specific functionality. In days like these, requirements are changing on a daily basis, and business applications should be just as flexible. So why can’t those application monsters update regularly just like any of your smartphone’s instant messaging apps? Well, that’s because these monsters are real beasts.

The nature of business applications is complex

We speak of multi and concurrent User Systems. Even for a small company’s order-to-cash process, a number of inter-related business entities within the hundreds is not unusual. Process workflows tend to change a lot. In 1974 Lehman formulated in his famous “laws of software evolution”:

“Observing that most software is subject to change in the course of its existence, the authors set out to determine laws that these changes will typically obey, or must obey in order for the software to survive.”

Taming the Beast

Now that is what Sclable is aimed at. The Sclable Platform is designed to have a fully functioning product from day one. Toolchain, organizational structure, agile method are very important, but honestly, the flavour depends on the nature of the software project you are doing. SCRUM, XP, Waterfall: No matter what flavour you go for, the Sclable Platform let’s you tame the beast itself.

Let’s do some sclabling!

At Sclable we are experimenting a lot with software project formats and agile methods. Let’s roughly sketch out one of our favourite agile software development format, we call “sclabling”. Sending ahead that you should choose your agile method according to the project you want to do, sclabling is just perfect if you know little to nothing about the business application that should be built.

Project kickoff and prototype release day

The good thing with business applications is that product owners seldomly start with just an idea. It is more likely that there is a legacy product or a bunch of such to be replaced. Often POs show up with a lot of additional material. Excel sheets along with calculation macros or other home grown stuff. In short: All that scattered knowledge needs to be structured.

Domain Modelling

That’s where Sclable’s business domain modelling comes into play: Sclable’s Domain Designer allows you to quickly develop the domain model that’s going to drive your business application. Whatever you do within the domain designer, Sclable’s Generic Application will reflect those changes immediately. That way, the project’s PO not only can verify the application at any time, also additional functionality that is not delivered by the generic application can be identified.

Prototype ready under one hour

In fact, from the PO’s first execution of an action within the domain model of your application out of Sclable’s Generic Application, your application’s prototype is born. From our experience, that’s after about an hour from the first time you throw up the domain designer. Most of the time it is some standing data being entered since it is hard to develop a business application without the data in mind.

First release under one day

No matter how far you will go on that project-kickoff workshop day, at the end of that session you can release and deploy. Your software project now consists of the following assets: Your business application is up and running. Of course there are a lot of features missing, but your project’s backlog is filled. At least to some extent and surely enough to plan the next sprint. And to add to your Definition of Done: your domain model represents a full documentation of your business application, which is (automatically) testable, and, because you haven’t touched any code until yet, there are no bugs.

Agile Methods and Sclable

Building upon the Sclable Platform means that you can do feature- test- or behaviour-driven development. You can develop your own breed of all three combined from here. You could go for a SCRUM setup or XP or both. At Sclable we have seen all sorts and have observed teams adopting quite unique flows.

New Agile Business Application Project Formats

A FinTech table prototyping project built upon Sclable. In addition to the tablet prototype, the solution included a full Sclable backend which was build upon Sclable’s Generic Application. A lot of the features and concepts developed in those 3 days wouldn’t be visible for the tablet-front-end user. Amongst these were two different adaptive suggestion engines along with configurable weighting algorithms which would guide through the application. Image: Sclable.com

A Fintech Showcase

Another format has been exemplified in a recent FinTech project initiated by FinTech Specialists at sopra steria and Scrum specialist bor!sgloger. A tablet-PC prototype for a banking advice application has been successfully accomplished together with 25th-floor, 9dots within 3 sessions each lasting 3 days. The SCRUM team included software architects, developers and UX specialists. About 35 additional persons from about 10 companies were involved, which is not unusual for projects within corporate structures.

Fazit

With our Platform version 2.0, which is centered around developers, their teams, project setups and development methods, we’ll be definitely seeing more agile project formats in the future. And we’ll be showcasing them a lot. So watch out for more blog post about #Sclable and #Agile!