Are you facing issues managing documentation cycle at the end of the software development lifecycle spectrum?
When we start off with a software development lifecycle, we as documentation managers, are aware that the last block in this cycle will be documentation. What being last does to documentation is the case of Chinese whispers. Haven’t you faced times when a feature was explained to you well, but a key configuration was missed. The reason the developer gives you is that it was a slip of mind as the feature was developed in the first phase, of course, when documentation was not involved. These are exactly the kind of times when Agile SDLC model can be employed to nip this gap.
What is the traditional scenario?
Consider a typical and very commonly used Waterfall Model. Now, here the testing phase is carried out near the completion of the implementation phase. It focuses on analyzing and planning the upcoming phases, or rather the entire SDLC in the initial analysis itself. What damage it does is that it does not count for the unseen and non-forecasted issues, such as incompatible software, change in design, and more.
How does Agile help?
When we deal with Agile, various aspects such as project planning and requirement specification are given priority. While the planning is not done all at the same time, the planning moulds itself with each passing spring or iteration (more about this below). This gives enough scope to handle unseen damages. Also, the best part about Agile is that all the teams, development, testing, and documentation, work in tandem. Each team needs to be part of every discussion related to the project, be it product design, development strategy, Bug resolutions, QA timelines, or documentation plan meetings. Every team knows everything – leading to total transparency!
Methodologies in Agile
XP: It stands for extreme programming. It concentrates on development rather than managerial aspects. Following are some of its features:
- The planning phase is followed by iterations which conclude with user acceptance testing.
- Reviews provided by users help the development team to estimate the time and necessary resources.
- In the user testing phase, if a bug is detected, fixing becomes a part of the next iteration.
- Only the user satisfaction decides the next iteration goals.
SCRUM: It contains a backlog of work populated during the release of the project. After its release, the project is divided into a series of iterations called sprints. The team member decides and completes the backlog work. During the sprint, the team conducts a daily meeting called scrum which reviews the sprint to check for the progress. Following are some of its features:
- It identifies the backlog item and assigns a team to it.
- The team determines the necessary changes and writes the code, tests and documents it.
- During the completion, the team demonstrates new features, adds backlog items and asses risk.
Agile methodology is slowly yet steadily pacing ahead of traditional methods. The kind of issues that have been mitigated early on due to this methodology have been appreciated by all facets of the product team. If you are looking to develop a product and do not want a case of Chinese whispers, invest in a good Agile process creation. At King Oranges, we have actively propagated this strategy to many clients who have seen a different kind of agility with all their elements of SDLC.