Business View, Learning and Evolution
Viewing IT project [howsoever small] as business projects is one of the fundamental shifts that we as a team have noticed since we have been exposed to agile methods.
Earlier we used to treat all projects from purely technical viewpoint, not considering enough the problem what we are trying to solve from business perspective. Our role as solution providers was about how we implemented a cool AJAX feature; used service oriented architecture or used n-tier architecture successfully. Rarely, if ever did we consider that will the system attract many users, will users browse beyond the first page, would search engine bots come to the website and get so confused that they would never index more than 5 pages. All this has changed ever since clients have been sitting next to us as we develop and the focus has been on people who will use the system to do the tasks rather than on “users”.
Another offshoot of the business thinking has been to plan activities using concurrent design methods from first sprint itself. We do not optimize the website for search engines/ usability only after the website development is over. It is an on-going process. Although it means that something does not get built overnight, but when it does, it’s generally robust and scalable.
We do however realize that we can not possibly get everything done at the outset itself. Some things you learn only after the system has been in use. However, we are happy that we are on a cycle where we do learn it each time and have something new to contribute every time. It keeps the team morale high and the client is more than delighted. Now only if we could learn to get there just right enough each time and on time, it would be great.