Monday, 12 September 2016 01:01

Introducing Resilient Agile – A Better Agile Methodology

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Your organization is committed to Agile, Scrum and TDD. That’s not going to change.  But somehow things aren’t going as smoothly as you’d like. Your project is on the “underplanned” end of the spectrum and you feel like everything could be working more smoothly.

If I’ve just described your current situation, then this article might be for you.  The Resilient Agile (RA) process combines Test Driven Development with Design Driven Testing, resulting in improved coverage for both unit and acceptance testing, and helps you plan your sprints better by introducing visual modeling of user stories, epics, and tasks.  

RA is agile on the project management side, and scenario driven on the technical side.  Enterprise Architect can help you to build, manage and enhance your Agile development projects.  This article show shows how Enterprise Architect can be used to implement Resilient Agile in your project.


Resilient Agile interfaces Design Driven Testing to Test Driven Development -- and it's only supported by Enterprise Architect


Resilient Agile is balanced between planning and feedback

The agile movement properly recognizes the value of getting to code early and not spending years on “Big Design Up Front” without demonstrating executable software early in the lifecycle. Agilists are correct in believing that a great deal of knowledge will be gained about system requirements by putting live software in the hands of users early. However, agile development as currently practiced across much of the industry has removed too much engineering from software engineering.

Agile/scrum and kanban put the focus on project management rather than engineering. Engineering tends to be left to the discretion of the developers, and there is an active mindset of “code first, refactor later” as opposed to systematic exploration of requirements and designs. Agile in practice is often used as an excuse for not doing architecture, not doing engineering and avoiding thinking about rainy day scenarios, leading to buggy, fragile (non-resilient) software. There is a general mindset on agile projects of achieving quality by testing rather than achieving quality by design. This mindset very often tends to be overly-focused on unit testing because acceptance testing requires that rainy-day scenarios be fully modeled and accounted for.

RA puts the engineering back but still fits with scrum and TDD

Complicating the problem, basic software engineering skills like developing quality use case models that fully explore sunny/rainy day behavior, how to properly decompose a use case into models, views, and controllers (MVC) and how to model the problem domain as a set of conceptual objects are often not taught adequately at the university level.Resilient Agile (RA) is an attempt to put the necessary engineering back into software development without losing the “get to code early” focus that agile gets right. RA is based on a time-tested method (ICONIX/DDT) of developing an initial problem domain model, then decomposing a system into collaborating use cases and elaborating each use case by doing a conceptual MVC decomposition.


ICONIX Resilient Agile - A Better Agile Methodology


Read 6800 times Last modified on Wednesday, 14 September 2016 06:22
doug rosenberg

doug rosenberg

Parallel Agile, Inc. (Founder, Chief Technology Officer) - formerly ICONIX (CEO)
After running ICONIX for 35 years and writing 7 books on UML, use cases, and agile software development, Doug discovered a new way to improve productivity by leveragng parallel development, and founded Parallel Agile ( in 2018 after 4 years of test projects at the USC Center for Software and Systems Engineering, where he's been working with Prof. Barry Boehm.   A new book "Parallel Agile - Faster Delivery, Fewer Defects, Lower Cost" is mostly written and will be released during 2019.   We're also developing a Parallel Agile Add-In for Enterprise Architect and are available for training and consulting.  
In his previous lifetime...
Doug Rosenberg founded ICONIX in his living room in 1984 and began training companies in object-oriented analysis and design around 1990. ICONIX specializes in JumpStart training for UML and SysML, and offers both onsite and open-enrollment courses.
Doug developed a Unified Booch/Rumbaugh/Jacobson approach to modeling in 1993, several years before the advent of UML, and began writing books around 1995. Design Driven Testing is his 6th book on software engineering. He’s also authored numerous multimedia tutorials (including Enterprise Architect for Power Users) and several eBooks, including Embedded Systems Development with SysML.
Doug has spent the last few years doing "deep dive" consulting into cutting-edge technology including cross-platform mobile app development, REST APIs, and NoSQL databases, and gaining first-hand experience on some "hardcore agile" projects of varying sizes.  He's also been working with dozens of graduate students at the University of Southern California Center for Systems and Software Engineering (USC CSSE), managing Directed Research projects and developing/piloting the Parallel Agile process.

1 comment

  • Comment Link Helmut Ortmann Monday, 16 January 2017 06:59 posted by Helmut Ortmann

    Hello Doug,

    I like your article. It remembers me to some everyday experiences.


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