Overview of A Mixed Approach To System Development And Testing: Parallel Agile And Waterfall Approach Streams Within A Single Project Agile Testing

The two main drivers that caused the BLA Ltd Mortgage Service project to be the critical project that it was,were as follows:

  • Legislation had changed, meaning that BLA Ltd needed to change its mortgage sales system or it would have to stop selling mortgages (at the time mortgages provided 28% of its yearly revenue).
  • BLA Ltd also saw an opportunity, through this change, to convince a larger group of independent salesmen to include BLA Ltd on their roster of insurance providers, and hence increase market share.

The initial architectural and design work started in January 2004,with a release date set to 31 August (the legislative change date). The release was put under further pressure in March when the business decided that their IT department could not deliver the nice web front end they wanted,and it went out to a supplier(Webfrontendsrus) who had built a simple front end for a very small insurance company previously.

As a bit more background, BLA Ltd currently had 5% of the market and was almost the market leader(there is a lot of competition in this market); the insurance company that Webfrontendsrus had already worked for held just 0.01% of the market.The solution Webfrontendsrus proposed was therefore very simple and certainly not stable enough for a company the size of BLA Ltd; but, with excessive pressure from the business, the IT department at BLA Ltd agreed to include it within the overall delivery project (confirming that it would need significant customization).

So, what was a complex internal project had just multiplied in complexity and 50% of the development had been outsourced. To make matters worse, BLA Ltd insisted on a waterfall approach, whereas Webfrontendsrus proposed the use of an agile approach;we were clearly in for an interesting time.

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