Agile Development
Sprints & Scrum

Will my installation succeed?

ISCS has a proven track record of using agile development for successful implementations.

We succeed with agile development in large part because of

  • our technology, how it enables quick turnarounds of parts of a large insurance system,
  • the methodology we have developed that provides a clearly defined structure to engage you, our client, efficiently in the process, and
  • the depth of insurance expertise our agile team members have.

Agile methodology is talked about more than it is really practiced, and the insurance industry as a whole is skeptical of it. We know it can be done because we do it. We didn't always; consequently, we know the profound difference agile methodology makes. ISCS was founded in 1994. We used the waterfall method that everyone used. Waterfall simply doesn't work for insurance implementations. Our implementations took heroic efforts to succeed. Now our implementations progress consistently and predictably toward success.

We know from experience that agile development, the way we practice it, is the safest approach for implementing your system.

The agile approach puts the emphasizes working software over detailed documentation. There is actually more planning in the agile approach than the traditional waterfall method: it is just spread out. There is actual more definition of specifications in agile development: it just takes place more efficiently since people are looking at real, working functions incrementally from project start to finish, instead of writing abstract descriptions of what their system should look like a year or more in the future.

The agile approach focuses on a small team—no more than 5-7 people—producing working business functionality in a two-week period called a "sprint." ISCS's unique visibility is a key to the success of agile development.

Do you want

  • a product that your vendor defines as "finished" but is of little to no business value, or
  • a product that your people have driven to the right result throughout development?

Each sprint has a written goal to achieve specific functionality at the end of two weeks. The developers present the functionality to you, the client, and you can adjust your goals and make changes. This avoids a traditional pitfall of software developers finishing a complete product or large section, and then presenting the result to the client who immediately sees it isn't what they need. Changes at that point are very costly and sometimes mean going back to a very early point in development. Such revisions have stretched P&C insurance implementations out for months or years and left many never completed.

If concurrent configuration or development has occurred, going back introduces the risk of bugs, instability or even functionality that just can't work together, even though it had worked correctly before. If you have multiple vendors, each responsible for different parts of the system, revisions can ripple throughout the project, creating waves of rising costs and steep drop-offs in quality and timeliness.

In addition, the traditional approach delays testing until the completion of the project. Agile methodology, because it produces working configurations of features and functionality every thirty days, allows client review and testing as the development happens. SurePower Innovation also benefits here from its comprehensive nature and powerful automated testing and regression testing of the entire system. At project completion, the bulk of testing the new configuration is already done.

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