Agile Transformation For An Insurance Provider

Agile Transformation For An Insurance Provider

OVERVIEWA large insurance provider in the Northeastern US decided to implement an Agile Transformation initiative across their organization, as part of the implementation of a new policy provisioning system.CHALLENGEThe Operations department were using a number of time intensive manual tasks to process client applications.  The Business and IT relationship had grown to be rather dysfunctional, with a series of failed or incomplete projects.  The business did not feel included in the initial development process, believed they needed to have the project scope identified in advance, and continued to build and support Microsoft Access databases to track work progress because the provided tools were not process focused. SOLUTIONPartnering with the client, we were able to break the 12 month waterfall project into four separate 90 day releases, with 2 week sprint cycles per release.  The first release consisted of the technical framework, creation of an Agile development cycle, simple product sets, and simple quality assurance and training review steps.  The subsequent releases...
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Being Agile is More Important Than Being Perfect

Being Agile is More Important Than Being Perfect

In business, agility, not perfection, is the single most important indicator of success, even having an agile methodology belief.  While the pressure to move faster and work smarter becomes more and more relentless, so, too, does the pressure to achieve perfection. Too often, product owners and business leaders hide behind closed doors, tweaking and fine-tuning, thinking that if they could just get everything perfect, then success will follow. Meanwhile, businesses that launch their offerings in the early stages achieve much higher success rates. The Definition of Agile What is it exactly that allows some product offerings to flourish and prosper while others stagnate and die? The answer points in one consistent direction. Agility, not perfection, is the single most important indicator of success. Traits of an Agile Enterprise Many organizations, in pursuit of growth, implement hierarchical org structures designed to enforce policies set forth by senior management. But an enterprise must understand that implementing a chain of command is not enough - and is...
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Confessions of a Scrum Master

Confessions of a Scrum Master

The Agile methodology is easy to understand, but difficult to master. Take it from a Scrum Master.  Agile Scrum, in particular, requires a change in mindset. Too often, Project Managers must define a schedule upfront and harass people to meet unrealistic dates. What makes the Agile Scrum approach attractive is its ability to promote transparency and accelerate output. If you're willing to let it, Agile Scrum can transform your organization.But, let's face it: change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit and tend to resist change by default. Introducing a new organizational process, such as Scrum, to an established development team could easily be perceived as risky. You might even be met with downright hostility.Fortunately, there is a middle ground. Oakwood Scrum Masters weigh in on three Agile techniques you can leverage as soon as today - without causing major disruption within your organization.Terminology From The Scrum MasterIt is important to understand some basic concepts. Oftentimes, the words "Agile" and...
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12 Agile Principles

12 Agile Principles

Are you transforming your organization by focusing on agility?  Agile is the only way to be productive in our fast-paced work environments.  Oakwood can help!  First, read these 12 simple agile principles.  Watch your teams, company and organization will flourish!12 Agile Principles Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Simplicity - the art of maximizing the amount of work not done - is essential. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change to the benefit of our customers. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment, tools, and support they need to get the job done. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. Working software is the primary measure of progress. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information is a face-to-face conversation. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. The...
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