Lean and Agile Project Methodology

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Lean and Agile Project Methodology

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Quick time to value, increased ROI, and meeting rapidly changing business requirements place a new set of demands on project teams implementing cloud solutions. While in the past classic......

Quick time to value, increased ROI, and meeting rapidly changing business requirements place a new set of demands on project teams implementing cloud solutions. While in the past classic “waterfall” project plans were successful, it is increasingly rare that project teams can conduct extended design, construct, and test phases. New business strategies, changes in the world of work, and the speed of technical change have transformed project timelines from years, to months, to weeks, and sometimes to days. Saba’s Expertise@Work project approach recognizes this reality and offers a practical, hands-on implementation methodology with an iterative Agile methodology that incorporates Lean principles to allow you to configure and adapt your solution based on what you really need and account for changing requirements and priorities. Our focus is on quickly and simply establishing your baseline Saba system and then configuring and deploying essential functionality to support your immediate business cases through iterative “sprints” where requirements, design, and validation occur in a collaborative environment.

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  • 1. White Paper Expertise@Work: An Agile Project Methodology Everything you need, when you need it.
  • 2. White Paper n Expertise@Work An Agile Project Methodology Quick time to value, increased ROI, and meeting rapidly changing business requirements place a new set of demands on project teams implementing cloud solutions. While in the past classic “waterfall” project plans were successful, it is increasingly rare that project teams can conduct extended design, construct, and test phases. New business strategies, changes in the world of work, and the speed of technical change have transformed project timelines from years, to months, to weeks, and sometimes to days. Saba’s Expertise@Work project approach recognizes this reality and offers a practical, hands-on implementation methodology with an iterative Agile methodology that incorporates Lean principles to allow you to configure and adapt your solution based on what you really need and account for changing requirements and priorities. Our focus is on quickly and simply establishing your baseline Saba system and then configuring and deploying essential functionality to support your immediate business cases through iterative “sprints” where requirements, design, and validation occur in a collaborative environment. Project durations are between four and eight weeks depending on the immediate use cases needed, and our methodology delivers results efficiently, quickly and with better end-user engagement and visibility. As a result, Saba customers can be up and running with Saba within weeks, start achieving urgent business opportunities, enable their employees with the industry’s most innovative people development platform, and measure ROI quickly. The lessons learned and ROI gained from this quick deployment then can allow for rapid expansion when the customer is ready to deploy other components of the Saba talent management solution, through another sprint or series of sprints. Lean and Agile? What’s That All About? Lean and Agile are two different methodologies that are used extensively in business. The Lean business approach is derived from the production processes adopted by Toyota after World War II. It focuses on a demand-driven approach with an emphasis on: ƒƒ Building only what is needed ƒƒ Eliminating anything that does not add value The Agile approach is focused on the notion that solutions and software should be developed in small iterations with frequent releases, as requirements cannot be accurately articulated up front so instead need to be collaboratively defined. Agile implementation processes involve configuring software in small segments, testing those segments, and then getting end-user feedback. These so called “sprints” aim to create a rapid feedback loop between the project team and the actual users. For the past few years, software development experts have been conversing more and more in a language that combines elements from both Lean and Agile methodologies. This combination offers a comprehensive and process-oriented approach toward software development. What? No Waterfall? Since its inception in 1970s, the waterfall approach has been successfully used to implement software. It involves a linear and sequential project approach where understanding customer requirements is the first stage, followed by design 2
  • 3. Agile Methodology Value Value Waterfall Methodology Time Time Value Delivered or construct phases, and finally testing of the configured application just prior to go-live. Although successful, the approach has drawbacks that are particularly apparent in the new business and technical paradigm that clients face. The waterfall method deploys an upfront requirement-gathering and design approach, which assumes that the end-users know these things and leaves all the design work and verification to late stages in the project. This is often a fallacy as many end-users cannot clearly articulate requirements and often struggle to determine the best way to map their needs into a new software application because they don’t know what the system can really do. This leads to poor design decisions that are often not uncovered until a later test phase, or in a worst case, post go-live. As a result, while the overall delivered value should be high, the risk of failure due to changed requirements or poor design decision is also very high. Couple this with the Saba Cloud focus on rapid and regular updates to service functionality and it quickly becomes apparent that a waterfall approach Risk of Failure where there can often be a significant lag between design and test is no longer the most efficient means of managing implementation. Saba’s Lean Agile implementation approach, on the other hand, does not assume that all requirements are known upfront. The approach focuses on discovery of requirements through a collaborative design process whereby Saba Cloud features are configured in an interactive environment. This allows both the users and project team members to experiment and iterate, and allows new features to be quickly adapted into a design framework. It consciously focuses on “must have” features to drive rapid, multiphase implementations rather than lengthy projects that run the risk of becoming obsolete before even going live. As a result, greater value is delivered over time while changes due to shifts in business requirements or end-user feedback can be easily made, thus dramatically reducing the risk of failure while boosting the customer’s ROI. 3
  • 4. White Paper n Expertise@Work Saba Expertise@Work Project Approach and Saba Cloud We have taken the best of Lean and Agile methodologies and incorporated them into our process: ƒƒ Only enable what is needed for the customer’s immediate goals ƒƒ Collaboratively define requirements ƒƒ Rapidly enable and test This approach is designed to complement Saba Cloud and in unison rapidly deliver application functionality whenever and to whatever extent it is needed. Our approach focuses on Lean principles in only building what is needed and delivers results through agile sprints in four-, six-, or eight-week projects (depending on the extent of Saba Cloud application functionality you are looking to deploy). The implementation provides a thin layer of project coordination focused on building and enabling a collaborative environment between project teams and 4 end-users rather than focusing on waterfall phases and sign-offs that elevate the project management load. This approach: ƒƒ Breaks projects down into rapid four- to eight-week projects focused on key business needs with rapid sprints of requirements, design, and validation ƒƒ Comes with Saba Expertise Manager – your unique single point of contact ƒƒ Drives collaboration between team members and users who are considered integral parts of design decisions rather than a testing afterthought ƒƒ Guarantees user feedback on every task of the project ƒƒ Eliminates lag in feedback, thus reducing the probability of misstated or misunderstood requirements ƒƒ Allows for changes due to shifts in business needs or market dynamics The net outcomes, we believe, are reduced time and effort to deploy and increased end-user satisfaction.
  • 5. Expertise Manager — Unique to Saba Key to making the Expertise@Work experience a delightful customer experience is the Expertise Manager, your Expertise@Work single point of contact. Together you will refine your talent management roadmap and prioritize your needs — whether you are adding new features, optimizing existing usage, or expanding to new sets of users. If you want to learn more about Saba’s innovative Expertise@Work project approach, visit www.saba.com/services or contact your Saba representative to request a meeting. The Expertise Manager will bring in the resources from across Saba to help you in the following areas: ƒƒ Success@Work: Our implementation services, focused on making you successful ƒƒ Support@Work: A broad range of support services, from our online “How Do I” library and customer community to end-user support and Adoption Acceleration services ƒƒ Training@Work: A list of on-demand or live training resources for end-users and administrators ƒƒ Strategy@Work: Extensive planning and optimization services for our most demanding customers ƒƒ Manage@Work: Let Saba experts manage your Saba service for you Saba enables organizations to build a transformative workplace where they can leverage their people networks to become more competitive through innovation, speed, agility, and trust. © 2013 Saba Software, Inc. All rights reserved. Saba, the Saba logo, and the marks relating to Saba products and services referenced herein are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Saba Software, Inc. or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Saba | 2400 Bridge Parkway | Redwood Shores | CA 94065-1166 USA | (+1) 877.SABA.101 or (+1) 650.779.2791 | www.saba.com wp_8/13 5