Agile: Not Just for Developers Anymore

DPA3 Development, Programming and Architecture

Location: Cotton Row

MONDAY, 10:45 - 11:30 a.m.

Agile is a proven methodology to support incremental continuous improvement. It works well when requirements can be expressed as discreet user stories that describe specific kinds of people doing specific things whose value is well understood and agreed upon. But where do those stories come from and how can we be sure they are the "right" stories? A common criticism of Agile is that it works well to manage engineering teams working to deliver individual features, but can feel awkward to creatives like content strategists, user experience experts, and visual designers who may see "the big picture" getting lost in small pieces. This can pose significant challenges to integrated, cross-functional teams seeking to adopt Agile as a single methodology for all of their work. Add to this that higher ed's leadership culture is often more comfortable with traditional project management methodologies and a waterfall approach to planning, and Agile can be quite difficult to pull off. This session will offer a whirlwind tour of Agile and explore how it can be extended to manage requirements and content strategy, UX and interaction design, front and back-end engineering, and visual design and theming. We'll cover process, tools, and deliverables and discuss how to introduce Agile to stakeholders with varying levels of skill and commitment in ways that support the success of their web projects. If you're new to Agile and considering its use, this talk will help you anticipate some of the challenges ahead and offer strategies for meeting them. If you're already using Agile, then hopefully you'll learn something new and share your own approach. Whether you manage an internal cross-disciplinary web team, subcontract parts of your web presence, or work as an army of one, Agile has a lot to offer.

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David DeMello
Director of Web Strategy, Cornell University, ILR School

David DeMello has worked on the web in Higher Education for almost 20 years. He has worn many hats and has worked as a programmer, systems administrator and web master, designer, user researcher, information architect, writer, strategic director, evangelist, educator and fixer. By day, almost all of that work has been for the ILR School at Cornell University.