Technology

Follow Us

Behind the Scenes: Agile Software Development at Ipreo

At Ipreo, we rarely talk about the processes and technology that power our platform behind the scenes. For instance, how do we develop and update our software? Here, I’ll walk through some of our team’s core challenges and strategies when it comes to creating software — and why the process should matter to our customers.

Ipreo’s Top Three Daily Challenges:

  1. Ipreo software drives the capital markets across the globe which requires superior uptime
  2. Regulatory changes happen often and require fast turnarounds
  3. Our customers have needs and require enhancements in a timely manner

Agile Software Development: The Basics
Our teams follow what’s known in the industry as “agile software development.” What is it? Think of the word “agile”: The process emphasizes flexibility, adaptation, responsiveness to change, and continuous improvement. In a recent article on agile software development, Forrester Research noted that when done well, agile methods for software development speed time to market, yield better-quality results, better align products to customer needs, and help break down operational silos.

Put simply, agile development is a more flexible way of managing IT development teams and projects. The concept originated in 2001, when a small group got together to discuss why the traditional approach to managing software-development projects (which featured rigid processes and structures) was failing far too often. The group came up with the agile manifesto, which includes four values that are as relevant today as they were then:

Source: www.agilemanifesto.org

Even though there’s value in the concepts on the right, as agile developers, we value the items on the left more.

Why We Use the Agile Process
Two years ago, Ipreo realized that it could not improve on our challenges unless we did something different. To handle the high rate of regulatory updates, Ipreo had to adopt a software-development process that could accommodate frequent change. Just throwing more developers and more technology at these challenges wasn’t a sustainable solution.

Why else does the agile process work for us and our customers? It allows us to:

  • Deliver valuable software faster so that will help our customers compete in the open market.
  • Change our roadmap monthly to keep a competitive advantage and handle the ever-growing list of change requests.
  • Receive customer feedback as soon as possible so that we can continue to serve our customers efficiently. While we understand that receiving software updates can be challenging for some of our customers, we do think there’s ultimately value behind it.

How the Agile Process Helps Our Customers
Supplementing the manifesto are 12 principles that further describe what it means to be agile.

In particular, I think three of these twelve driving principles of the agile process are especially relevant for Ipreo customers:

  • Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  • We welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
  • We deliver working software frequently, from every couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.

The Bottom Line
Interested in learning more about agile software development? Here’s a resource that explains more details about how it’s done.

What I want to impart is confidence that the way we are developing software at Ipreo is the best way to support our customers and deliver the best experience in an ever-changing regulatory environment.

Mary Thorn

Mary Thorn is Ipreo’s Director of Agile Practices. She enjoys working with a great team at Ipreo. Mary used to referee Division I/II/III women’s college basketball. Her highest accomplishment was refereeing the Division I Atlantic 10 conference tournament and the Final Four of the Division II women’s finals