The MIS class in Systems Analysis and Design at Wright State University was introduced to agile concepts and practices by Strategic Data Systems (SDS), in an effort to bring real-world innovation into the classroom. SDS Agility Specialist, Paul Spencer, taught the interactive class.
“Paul gave an excellent presentation about the five key principles of agile development and the agile development steps,” stated Wright State University MIS Instructor Barbara Denison. “The contrast between the waterfall method and the agile method and the advantages and disadvantages of each will help students in their future development projects.”
The Systems Analysis and Design class is comprised of students from various programs of study at the university. “This is a great opportunity to intervene early with future business and technology professionals to show them better and innovative ways to manage a project,” said Spencer. “Agile development practices deliver significant results over traditional project management methodologies; however some teams never see those benefits because they are too stuck in the traditional ways they have been trained.” Spencer is hopeful he opened some students’ minds to trying agile approaches to create better teams and ultimately better products.
“Probably the most fun was when the class got to participate in the scrum exercise with a student playing the product owner role,” said Denison. “It enhances textbook and classroom learning when a professional can share their experiences.”
Agile development is an innovative methodology companies are adopting to enhance competitiveness. Ongoing research on Agile practices have proven significant results in higher productivity, improved product quality, faster time to delivery, and decreased project costs. In the 2010 State of Agile Survey conducted by VersionOne, 87% of respondents indicated implementing agile had improved or significantly improved their ability to respond to shifting priorities and 70% indicated improved or significantly improved time to market. Results typically experienced by SDS Agile teams are: 60% increased productivity, 80% fewer software bugs, and 60% lower development costs.