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New Frontiers in Business Intelligence

Nari Kannan

The True Secrets of Agile Development

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We just successfully finished an Agile Development Project in almost record time - in about 45 days or so.

We thought about some of the things that made a difference and it seems to be a few things above all:

a. Clear idea of where we wanted to go although we were not clear about all the details. Agile is good for these kinds of projects since you are fairly flexible in where you want to go and have not etched in stone how to get there. In many software development projects this is the mistake many people make thinking that it is indeed possible to think of everything upfront!

b. A good Story Tracking tool. We found the free (currently at least) PivotalTracker SaaS service to be very good.

c. Rapid turnaround of testing and making sure that we do not miss anything in doing this rapidly!

Of course, the complexity of the software you are developing and the complexity of the problem may make some projects unsuitable for Agile Development but in this case it was the most appropriate thing, at least!

The most remarkable thing about this was that the engineers were 6000 miles away but it helped that I visited the engineers in person before we got started with the whole effort. That always puts a face to a name when we talk over the phone and makes a lot of difference!

Yes. It does work! May not in all cases but where it is perfectly suited, it works well.

We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it. Through this work we have come to value: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, responding to change over following a plan! - The Agile Software Development Manifesto 

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Nari Kannan's blog explores how new approaches to business intelligence can help organizations improve the performance of business processes--whether these processes are creative or operational, internally-focused or customer-facing, intra-departmental or across functions.

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan started and serves as the CEO of appsparq, a Mobile Applications development company based in Louisville, KY with offices in Singapore and India. Nari has over two decades of experience in computer systems development, translating product and service strategy into meaningful technology solutions, and both people and product development. Prior to this, he has served as both Chief Technology Officer and Vice President- Engineering in six successful startups, two of which he co-founded. He has proven experience in building companies, engineering teams, and software solutions from scratch in the United States and India. Prior to this, Nari started Ajira Technologies, Inc., in Pleasanton, CA, where he served as Chief Executive Officer for more than six years. While at Ajira, Nari was instrumental in developing service process management solutions that modeled, monitored, and analyzed business processes, initially targeting the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Telecom, and Banking verticals in India, and Finance, Insurance, and Healthcare verticals in the United States. Prior to this, he served as VP-Engineering at Ensenda, an ASP for local delivery services. He also served variously as Chief Technology Officer or VP-Engineering at other Bay-Area venture funded startups such as Kadiri and Ensera. He began his career at Digital Equipment Corporation as a Senior Software Engineer. Nari has a long involvement with Customer Support and other customer facing processes. At Digital Equipment Corporation he was involved with their 1800 person customer support center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was tasked with coming up with innovative tools to help customer support people do their jobs better. He holds a U.S patent for a software invention that automatically redirected email requests for customer support to the right group by digesting the contents of the request and guessing at which software or hardware support group is best equipped to handle it. At Ensera, he led a 45 person team in developing an internet based ASP service for handling auto insurance claims, coordinating information flow between end-customers, Insurance companies, Repair shops and Parts suppliers. Ensera was acquired by Mitchell Corporation in San Diego. Nari holds a B.S. degree in Physics from Loyola College, and an M.B.A degree from the University of Madras in Madras, India. He graduated with a M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1985. Contact Information: Nari Kannan. Email: nari@appsparq.com Mobile: 925 353 0197. Website: www.appsparq.com View more .

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