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Act Wise: agile methodology for low-code software development using the Thinkwise Platform
Low-code is more than just a way of developing software, it is also a way of thinking and working. Act Wise was created with this in mind, a practical agile methodology that enables an organization to get the most out of the Thinkwise low-code platform.
After selecting Thinkwise, you will be familiar with the capabilities of the platform. But how do you apply them? After all, you don't suddenly have a fully staffed accompanying (project) organization in place after training and installation. You won't necessarily have a methodology in place yet for collaborating with a team to create software, from specification to planning, budget and development to final implementation. This is exactly what Act Wise is intended for.
Determining objectives and methods
Most companies that start with low-code, want three things: to be flexible, be able to deploy software quickly and replace legacy software. The Thinkwise Platform is designed to achieve these goals in the most efficient way possible. One example is the Thinkwise Upcycler. This is a tool integrated in the platform that enables you to rapidly convert the core functionality of multiple legacy platforms and software suites, including RPG, Access, Cobol, Uniface and Dynamics AX, to the Thinkwise Platform.
In addition, the most efficient method to develop software is directly embedded in the Thinkwise Platform: Act Wise. This agile methodology is based on the best practices developed through the years by Thinkwise from its experience with many software projects. The method has similarities with scrum and is based on the standards set by the International Project Management Association (IPMA). Combining the Thinkwise Platform and Act Wise as the accompanying agile methodology is crucial to getting the most out of low-code development.
Agile working = agile thinking
Many companies that make the transition to low-code software development do so from a need for new software, which they want to realize quickly and flexibly with a higher Return on Investment (ROI). It then frequently turns out that in addition to new software, it also requires a (partial) organizational change. While some organizations are aware of this in advance, the reality is that not everyone will be used to an agile way of working. There might also be some old workflows and mindsets that an organization can have trouble parting with. Think, for example, of traditional waterfall projects and experiences from COTS software suite implementations and traditional custom development.
All these experiences inhibit the transition to an agile way of working because that not only involves a development team, but also representatives from the wider organization. The choice to want to become flexible through the deployment of low-code software development is a strategic business decision. For this reason, the involvement of the business during development is imperative. This means that the adoption of agile by all stakeholders is key. Not only do people need to start working differently, but they must also start thinking differently, dare to abandon old practices and unite for the best possible result. However, this change in organizational structure and culture will have to come from the organization itself.
Act Wise in short
As well as a product training, every Thinkwise Platform customer will also receive an introduction to the methodology: Act Wise. The methodology covers the entire customer journey, from the introduction and acceptance of low-code within the organization and the design and development of applications, through to the implementation, iterative improvement and innovation. This process of continuously improving and extending the software is actually repeated indefinitely, so when it comes to software development with Thinkwise we also refer to it as an infinite customer journey.
One of the core objectives in Act Wise is focusing on the development of Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) instead of the project-based delivery of complete software versions or products in one go. This means that the goal should not be to modernize a particular department or a specific software module. Rather, development should revolve around solving specific business needs and bottlenecks, in order of priority. These are usually constraints that impede business growth and benefit the entire organization when resolved.
Under Act Wise, work is carried out iteratively and incrementally in sprints, and fixed roles and processes are defined for those directly involved within the project organization. In addition, the methodology offers a complete Development, Test, Acceptance and Production (DTAP) protocol. This allows different teams to work in Thinkwise on the same software at the same time, and later merge and put these various software versions and components into production in a seamless and orderly manner.
As such, Thinkwise not only offers organizations a platform to quickly develop low-code software and modernize legacy, but also helps them to adopt an agile way of thinking and working and achieve digital transformation.
How to get started?
The first step to becoming successful with Thinkwise is to see it as more than just deploying a low-code software platform. See it as a new way of thinking, doing and collaborating.
Follow the Act Wise training and adopt the methodology throughout the entire organization. Next, it is important to not consider low-code software development as a one-time activity, but as a continuous iterative process that never ends: a continuous journey. You continue working on resolving the most urgent challenges within your organization. Your organization changes continuously to follow external circumstances and your software needs to do the same. The Thinkwise low-code Platform and Act Wise make this possible.
Achieving optimal results with the Thinkwise Platform is done with Act Wise. It helps organizations to create a modern flexible methodology to develop software that actually resolves business problems and really helps them to progress. Software that can be continuously improved, without technological obsolescence and with far less dependence on traditional programmers.