Agile Development for the Modern Business

This blog originally appeared on on March 14, 2013. Check it out here.

I have a confession to make: In the past, I was a traditional SDLC developer. It’s hard to admit but it’s true. Now don’t get me wrong, developing according to the Systems Development Life-cycle has its benefits, but in today's ever changing, rapidly evolving business environment, developing according to the waterfall or V-Model methodology is no longer feasible.   Don't believe us, checkout a recap of some the worst 10 Software implementations of the past 20 years. For unstructured problems or attempting to define a root cause of a problem and a plan to address it, the traditional SDLC is still a powerful too.


New School


A simplified version of this model is:

1.  Plan

2.  Analyze

3.  Design

4.  Build

5.  Test

6.  Deploy (then iterate through the steps again).

But for developing, a large scale, functional, proprietary system, the SDLC poses serious challenges.


For complex systems, this methodology only gets you so far. It is impossible to understand the implications of all the interactions of attributes and entities (read databases and their “rows of data”) without seeing how the User Interface (UI) will interact. With rapid-development prototyping, the beta releases of the system can help facilitate design discussions.

Put another way, end-users will select and de-select everything and anything in a system, just to see how it works. In addition, typically the technical team with the skill-set to build a User Interface (UI), Database (DB), and the connecting middleware have little knowledge of the process that is being modeled (i.e. underwriting a loan, constructing a building, transporting oil and gas, processing an insurance claim, determining the credit worthiness of a consumer, etc.)

The old answer is buy an out-of-the-box solution, cross your fingers, and hope the teams of engineers got it right.

But what if there is a better way? There is, it’s called the agile methodology.


New School


You are probably thinking, "Ok great another diagram, what am I supposed to do with that?"

Answer: Contact Kinetech and see for yourself.

I know what you’re thinking: Wow, I read this far and now you are doing a sales pitch… Don’t worry, keep reading.  By using Data Models rather than mySQL commands, using visual modeling (think: visio) for complex middleware (i.e. connecting your UI to you DB), and a simple form builder (interface creator), Kinetech's Engineers and the Mendix Platform takes custom applications to a whole new level (and much, MUCH faster than out-of-the-box “Solutions”).

This is what I am talking about:

Data Model


A Data Model


Form Builder


Form Builder


The Microflow – Implementing Functional Logic, Business Rules, Workflows and Processes


A Microflow Implementing Logic to Manipulate the Data Model


By taking out the inevitable “Spaghetti Code” step with Microflows, we SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the risk of project failure. Did I mention we build mobile forms the same way we build web applications?  That’s because it’s all based around HTML 5.  Think about that for a minute.  With one Platform (Mendix) we can build our clients mobile and web applications that are compatible with Blackberry, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and their corresponding browsers Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome.  And what about that ever-elusive cost curve? You know, every time I want to add new functionality to the system / application the cost goes up exponentially…

Cost Curve for Software Implementation


New School


With Kinetech, that’s not true either.  Our team has taken over multi-million dollar project failures from Fortune 500 Consulting companies (the same company that brought you and turned them into a success in a matter of week and months.

As the popularity and understanding of what it means to be “agile” from a software perspective becomes mainstream (like “cloud” 10 years ago), more businesses will adopt app platforms like Mendix in order to more tightly integrate their business and IT operations, with significantly more emphasis on mobile and Kinetech will be your unwavering enterprise partner.

About Kinetech: Kinetech is a targeted software, strategy, and technology services company with industry expertise in the energy, construction, and financial service sectors. Kinetech empowers our clients by transforming their business potential into dynamic performance.

Picture courtesy of Asahi Technologies.

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A place exists...