The benefits that an agile methodology and approach brings is making all areas of the software development and engineering arena sit up and take note as they look to ways to improve the quality, value, costs and timescales of the software they produce.
However, the active push away from building a formal design drives the perception that agile processes are too lightweight and unsuitable for use in the building of complex and often highly regulated systems and products. Here the step by step signed off progression and formality of the Waterfall methodology that caters for establishing the necessary upfront designs needed by such software engineering teams has taken root. This has been down to the complex dependencies and interaction of other software components and technologies (e.g. mechanical/electrical/electronic) that rely on a concrete design to be in place. Some in the complex systems market worry that without the necessary upfront design that the agile process may deviate away from the strategic direction and overall design of a system.
In this podcast discussion we question whether agile can truly work for complex systems design and development. We will also discuss what needs to be done or put in place to replicate the successes that a growing number of development teams are experiencing.
The discussion of the podcast centres on the following points:
- Is Agile right for the complex systems world?
- What challenges does an Agile approach present in complex systems design and development?
- What challenges are likely to be presented by executing an agile methodology in complex systems design and development?
- Getting buy in for Agile delivery practices – how to get the support of business heads and management leads for investing in Agile
John Parello, Technical Leader in the Ethernet Switching and Technology Group at Cisco.
John’s career in software engineering spans over 25 years He is the lead architect and co-inventor for Cisco EnergyWise, which is a key part of Cisco’s Green initiatives.
He is also the co-author of “IP-Enabled Energy Management” a strategy for administering energy as a service.
John joined Cisco in 1999 as an engineer in the Network Management Technology Group, responsible for developing network management applications. He gained 3 patents in this field before moving on to be the lead developer for the Wireless Network Technology Group responsible for the Wireless Self healing features of the wireless lan Service Engine.
Dave Baker, DEK Printing Machines
After working for Microsoft for nearly 10 years, specialising in Enterprise Architecture and the deployment of engineering grade solutions has recently returned to DEK Printing Machines to spearhead their business reengineering and innovation strategies.
At Microsoft Dave was responsible for strategy and engagement around Microsoft’s device platforms and designed and delivered a number of high profile solutions within the Healthcare, Utilities, Retail and Automotive environments.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Dave spent 5 years defining and delivering DEK’s software strategy and before this could be found deploying control systems for nuclear reactors and oil installations. He considers himself a technologist but still has difficulty using all the features on his Blackberry.
Dominic Tavassoli, Director for Rational Industry & Systems Marketing at IBM
Dominic has 20 years experience in systems engineering, advanced software development and delivery, and process improvement around CMMI, Agile and Application Lifecycle Management, and has authored over fifteen papers on these topics. He is currently working on crafting solutions for the next wave of Smart Products and cross-industry ecosystems, which meet business requirements for innovation while achieving compliance, quality and cost objectives.
Prior to IBM, Dominic was Vice President of Product Marketing at Telelogic, a leading provider in Enterprise Lifecycle Management, ran the French operation for Ascent Logic Corporation, the pioneer in Requirements Management, Systems Engineering and Enterprise Architecture, and drove the deployment of best practices for systems and software at MBDA.