The Agile Development movement is in search of a reliable mechanism for scaling successful agile projects into larger enterprise-wide implementations. A key challenge involves stitching together all applicable ‘stories’ into a logical big picture that can drive enterprise project management, architecture alignment, change management, impact analysis and operations. Current story-aggregation mechanisms like ‘epics’ or functional decomposition charts are either too flexible or too constraining for agile principles.
A decision-centric approach to Enterprise Agile Development blends the flexibility of agile methods with the rigor required for large-scale systems implementation.
Each ‘story’ can be mapped to a Decision being implemented – it is the visual ‘Post-It’ note. Decision Modeling with DecisionsFirst Modeler (DFM) allows graphical mapping of higher level decisions and its dependencies on other lower level decisions, on data requirements (Information Sources) and on business logic (Knowledge Sources). These visual representations are based on the Decision Model Notation (DMN) standard and stored in the DFM repository for collaborative, iterative development. Stories are thus organized logically for enterprise level planning and also for focused agile development.
In addition, every Decision (or Story) has a context that is captured in DFM. This context includes business processes, stakeholders, goals, metrics, trigger-events and systems – all crucial for enterprise planning, deployment and management. Decision modeling in DFM thus allows the agile development team to focus on implementing stories (decisions), while the decision network and the decision context allows a big picture for enterprise level teams.
DecisionsFirst Modeler (DFM) allows incremental sketching, rearranging and grouping on a visual canvas – mirroring the successful ‘Post-It’ notes used in agile methods. Using DFM adds powerful capabilities where documentation and housekeeping occurs in the background. In addition, multiple development, business and enterprise teams collaborate remotely and in real-time. The physical ‘Post-It’ notes and related agile methods can stay the way they are, but with a little extra effort of sketching decisions in DFM the agile team can rapidly scale for Enterprise Level implementation.
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