Agile Approach Brings Together Data Management and App Development

Kim Mays

Agile methods allow developers to create dependable applications with repeatable results. The same type of practice can also be applied to database development to promote proper data management, which in turn reflects in successful application creation. Efficient data governance is one key toward achieving well developed software more quickly.

However, it seems that for many enterprises, there has always been tension between the development groups and those who manage the data. Developers often lament that issues with data management prohibit quick, adaptive software creation. On the other hand, data management staff feels that the tenets of Agile methodologies don’t consider the needs of data asset management. The clash isn’t new, but today’s business cycles demand software that’s created even more quickly and effectively than ever. This is why Agile development has become so important.

To help your organization achieve a tighter relationship between development and data management, author Larry Burns offers his book, “Building the Agile Database.” In his book, Burns explains the business case behind efficient data management via Agile methods. He also takes time to identify the usual stakeholders involved in application development and database development. Burns gives a detailed view of the financial stakes behind the software development process and ties that to the importance of good data management.

Chapters Burns covers include:

  • The Business View
  • Agile Explained
  • Data Management Roles and Responsibilities
  • Agile Data Management
  • Agile Database Design

In our IT Downloads area, we offer an excerpt from the book, which includes the introduction along with “Chapter 1: Taking the Business View.” In the download, readers learn why it is important to identify the business stakeholders and try to see the development process from their view. It helps to look at both sides of the argument in order to see why Agile processes can make both processes work better together. According to the book:

Each of these [stakeholder] roles contributes some measure of value to the application development effort, and helps ensure, to some extent, the ultimate success of the project and its value to the business. It’s important to understand that, while ignoring the needs of one set of stakeholders may provide some short-term advantage to another, the greatest long-term advantage to the enterprise is served by creating processes that enable all stakeholders to accomplish what they need to accomplish for the good of the organization. Taking a stakeholder view gives all affected groups a stake in the successful outcome of a given endeavor. Failure to do this encourages one or more groups to back-pedal, to slow down or obstruct the effort of others. I would argue that most of the internal conflicts that cause IT projects to come in late and over budget can be traced back to a failure to sufficiently consider the interests—and enlist the support—of all the groups whose active participation and cooperation is essential for success.

This excerpt can help both developers and data management staff to understand the importance of each side’s work to the overall success of the software. IT managers and CIOs will also benefit from the use of the techniques covered in Burns’ book. To bring together your data and development teams to provide smoother, more efficient business processes, the Agile method makes total sense.

Kim Mays has been editing and writing about IT since 1999. She currently tackles the topics of small to midsize business technology and introducing new tools for IT. Follow Kim on Google+ or Twitter.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jun 26, 2015 4:12 AM jodel_x jodel_x  says:
The database should be easily used to derive versions of the existing one for other projects bay keeping the master data in the new blueprint. Reply

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