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Use of Rapid Application Development methodologies for Supply Chain Execution package implementations

Sterling Commerce Order Management implementations are usually executed using Waterfall methodologies. Given that clients are now looking towards rapid time to market the use of Rapid Application Development methodologies such as agile is now no longer a consideration but a necessity.

I have been fortunate to have been involved in such an implementation.Using agile in Supply chain execution implementations is more difficult than typical implementations simply due to the number of touch points across the entire life cycle which interact with multiple systems and have internal inter dependencies For instance returns refund and order cancellation refund on prepaid tenders in Sterling are dependent on a common set of payment configurations and a change in one affects the other. Considering the two of them together is therefore is prudent.

In addition to product knowledge, I believe that one of the key things in getting this right is to understand the agile and non-agile aspects of the implementation and treat them on their own merit For e.g. infrastructure design with its upfront investment and procurement period is non-agile. For that matter any part of the process which has dependencies on external parties outside the project group should be considered non-agile unless they can be brought into the project group and provide a commitment to deliver in an agile manner. Fit gap analysis and determination of Sterling commerce modules that would be used will need to be done upfront because of licensing considerations. To a certain extent, solution design and "Devil in the detail" analysis should also be done upfront to decide which user stories should be executed together. Given that agile itself states that user stories are to be collected upfront and then detailed and implemented in scrums, this is an extension of the spirit of agile as applicable to supply chain execution package implementations.

Have you been a part of an agile supply chain execution implementation particularly Order management? Please do share your experiences.

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