Business management systems play a critical role in remaining competitive in an increasingly digital and data-driven landscape. Meanwhile, agile methodologies promise to be the best approach to getting software solutions out of the box, in the shortest period of time.
It seems that ERP and Agile Methodologies are made for each other, but sometimes aligning them is a challenge. The scope and complexity that an ERP can cover seems to catch up with the step changed to the iterative approach that characterizes this popular methodology.
What is the advantage of agile methodologies?
The adoption of an agile approach allows you to adapt very quickly to changes in your market, through agile methodologies that bring the maximum productivity and profitability:
Early and Incremental Value. Through continuous and real-time deployment of your software, you can build your trust in the new system little by little. Allow users to extract value from the first weeks of development, before the final solution is finished.
Quality and reliability. The risk of delays is reduced, since the delivery of functionalities is carried out by weekly sprints whose content is clearly defined in advance.
Customer-Centric. The flow of communication between the business and software programming teams is continuous, as they are equally involved in the development process. This guarantees a final product that meets and exceeds your expectations.
Increased Efficiency. Allowing end users to see how the end product is taking shape, react to it, and modify it is essential to exceed your expectations. Early delivery in small increments, and the ability to get your input during the build process, minimizes the risk of building a product you don't need, or missing a deadline.
Using Scrum correctly in your ERP projects
The size, complexity, and inter-dependencies of Odoo projects pose specific challenges when working in an agile environment. Development and customer teams need to align in advance on which aspects of agile delivery they may be compromised on and adapt the classic agile model accordingly.
Our 6 steps to success using an agile approach in Odoo projects are based on more than 60 commitments to clients and the collective experience of our partners, clients and employees:
- Start with a base system. Unlike other projects, Odoo usually requires a very important initial configuration before kicking off the development of custom modules and customizations. By painting a starting line, we establish the foundation where to start building. So we can begin to convey our experience in use cases related to the functionality of the base system.
- Do the groundwork. Agile frameworks generally include only a little preparation and prototyping. However, in our experience, we know that there is no price to set aside time up front to define ways of working, undergo initial training, make key design decisions, and configure the Odoo environment.
- Make the key decisions in advance. Odoo projects often present many options when deciding which way to go. When you decide to be agile, it is critical that you take time to think through the implications of key decisions before sprints.
- Complexity Management. Some processes in your business can be extremely complex, and take much more time to design and build than a single sprint. It is crucial that we have a continuous dialogue channel with your company to keep order and deadlines at bay in these cases.
- Cultivate the right mindset and an operational culture in your company. In order to achieve success through an agile approach in your Odoo project, there must be a transition to an agile mindset, which will be very positive in your company. Make sure you have agile and versatile people involved in the project. This requires a significant commitment to the solution from managers and employees.
- Take into account some flexibility in your budget and deadlines. Budgeting for an agile Odoo project can take your team out of their comfort zone and requires accepting some uncertainty about costs and timing. Agile programs work best when your budget is focused on a certain amount of time, rather than scope and functionality.
Ready to take the Agile Path?
Simply put, the agile approach to software development gives you the power to achieve relevant solutions, faster. Odoo implementations, despite their inherent complexity, benefit greatly from agile methodologies, provided certain criteria are met and you follow a good plan.
It is true that it demands a lot from your organization: a commitment to provide tools, training and other resources, nurturing the right mindset and dialogue, to allow flexibility in deadlines. Preparation is key, but it's worth the effort to be agile. Our clients realize the enormous benefits every day.