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Agile has become the go-to software development methodology used to aid companies in achieving their digital transformation initiatives. In reality, achieving Agile Nirvana is something that is impossible because the Agile Manifesto defines a set of principles that are not set-in-stone concrete practices or a specific methodology. On the other hand, Agile Nirvana is a metaphor that defines an organization’s ability to deliver technological products most efficiently for competitive advantage.

However, applying the Agile methodology comes with its own set of challenges. Despite the level of fluency that organizations accept as perfect in their journey to Agile, it is always timeconsuming to set up. Even setting up Agile processes for separate Agile teams can take up to two or three months. Further, it can take more than three years for an organization to adopt an Agile DNA completely.

Organizations are searching for software development partners with high quality resources, robust technical competency, strong business and industry knowledge, and proven experience in distributed Agile. Having Agile in its DNA, First Line Software (FLS) empowers clients to achieve their goals efficiently and effectively. The company offers First Line Agile Technology (FLAT), a combination of the Fluent Agile Model, eXtreme Programming Practices, and DevOps Best Practices.

FLS collaborates with its partners (boots on-the-ground boutique Agile transformation advisory) to provide a comprehensive Agile and DevOps transformation and delivery service, FLAT, to help organizations in their digital transformation.

“Today, we can state that eXtreme Programming augmented by DevOps-based practices is the most effective Agile SDLC, and we apply this to our client projects,” says Pavel Khodalev, SVP of First Line Software.

Another pain point in implementing Agile is the lack of clarity about the various phases that an organization needs to pass through on its way to Agile Nirvana. These phases are well defined in the Agile Fluency Model approach that FLS believes is the best definition for Agile Nirvana. While almost all Agile implementation experts have a clear idea of the Focusing (delivery process) phase, and some have started investing in the Optimizing (product management practices) phase, only a few organizations are focusing on the Delivery (teamwork skills that software engineers must have) phase. FLS believes that utilizing a combination of all three phases (Focusing, Delivering, and Optimizing) is the only way organizations can leverage Agile to its fullest potential and be as close to Agile Nirvana as possible.

“We aim to be the best-in-class experts in all three phases with an explicit and deep focus on the Delivering phase,” says Khodalev.

Interestingly, FLS is now moving toward providing solution-based offerings for software development. These offerings will be a combination of strategic consulting, methodology, business processes, knowledge management, and the concept of minimum viable product (MVP) that will speed up client digital transformations. FLS has started this transition by focusing on complex projects in the healthcare industry. A case in point is that of Clinic to Cloud, a cloud-based medical practice management software provider that outsourced a complex software development project to FLS. Not only did the FLS team bridge any barriers in distance and language with ease, but they thoroughly understood the requirements and goals of the client to deliver the software that they needed. The client’s software is now being used by hundreds of healthcare providers and millions of patients around the world.

Similarly, FLS is working with healthcare companies to create a solution that will enable them to share anonymized patient data with pharma companies for research and drug discovery processes. Alongside healthcare, the company is also planning to establish solutions for enterprise data management, web content management, retail digitalization, and machine learning.

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, FLS has over 600 skilled engineers across Europe, the Czech Republic, Russia, and the Netherlands. The company’s executives— boasting combined experience of nearly three decades—were early adopters of Agile and influenced its progression as a development methodology. The FLS team is an expert in all aspects of software development like Java and .NET to supplementary technologies for content development. In fact, the founder and chairman of Scrum, Inc., Jeff Sutherland, is an advisor to FLS who provides his insights into the latest Agile methodologies for enhancing their services. Recording a growth rate of 20 percent year over year since inception, the company is set to establish new benchmarks in the agile world.

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David Tedford
VICE PRESIDENT