Agile Adoption in Cloud Infrastructure Projects

Does this sounds very familiar? This blog will further explain how Agile is adopted in Cloud Infrastructure Projects to meet business needs. Every detail from approach, solution to benefits are clearly stated in the process flow.

The techniques of agile software are being increasing day by day in recent years. In order to enhance customer satisfaction and to increase the quality of a project, the methodology is widely used in software development over the traditional project management. The methods of Agile are light-weight software schemes, the old traditional techniques of agile which includes a waterfall, unified process, prototype model and spiral model are not capable for developing software nowadays as with the latest trends, new requirements are generating. Some of the latest software development techniques include XP, Scrum, Crystal, DSDM, ASD, and FDD.

Problem Statement

The cloud infrastructure projects usually start with the assessment of the needs of customers as heard from the IT team in order to meet the needs of customers. After the approval of design the provision is then forwarded to the customer Infra Team so that they can implement the design and install the software. This approach works for most of the customers whereas the end of the project is done by IT. It is easy to design and deliver for scenarios like this and they are executed with a typical water fall method of project management.

Sometimes, the end state of the customer needs is not clearly mentioned and hence become very challenging to create/design an infrastructure which meets the needs of customers which is according to the budget.

At 1CloudHub, one of our customers had the infra requirements were evolving and changing every day as the client was onboarding a brand new product. As it was the first implementation for the customer on the cloud, the security and network related challenges were altered in every discussion and the change in design were mandated accordingly.

Solution

It is very challenging for the architects and design team, to do the significant progress in the design and provisioning where the infrastructure requirements are changing on regular basis. To find the solution to this problem we adopted Agile approach in order to deliver the infra in sprints. With the help of scrum framework the needs of customers are bucketed as sprints to deliver the environment like Dev, UAT and Prod and the delivery modules were distributed in tiny sprints which can be managed easily like compute, storage, and network for each sprint. With this approach we were able to focus on the delivery of only one environment at a time.

Approach

Every sprint was defined with a predetermined objective which has to be delivered and becomes the basis for next environment. With each sprint the infra requirements for every environment was discussed in detail, designed and also provisioned to the application team so that they can install it. If there any changes in design or configuration which is asked by the app team gets restricted to one sprint and also saved the specific amount of duration and effort. The learnings from the previous sprint also assist in reducing the time of delivering the next or upcoming sprint.

Benefits

  • With the adoption of Agile, we are able to involve the customers throughout the project.
  • With the progress of provisioning it results into high visibility and also given us an elasticity to accept the change requests with this point towards continuous involvement and delighted customer.
  • There is a better control in progressing the project by having sprint meetings which also gave the transparency to the entire project tem and keep them updated throughout the project.
  • The lessons which are learned are completed after the sprint and also used to refine in next iteration which brings the opportunity of improvement.

Conclusion

  • Delivery of infrastructure became successful and swift.
  • It is easy and flexible to accommodate the change if requested by customers in the later stages as well.
  • It brings the option to deliver flexible and scalable according to the use of infra platforms.
  • Helps in reducing the time and efforts in project lifecycle.

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