Waterfall, Agile, now “Sim”?

Dan Woods in Forbes (here) highlights one of the emerging trends in development: user-interface simulation.  This takes agile development a step further, because…

[b]y creating a simulation of the user experience, instead of a full-working version, a team can avoid a large amount of work but still get a full test that can confirm requirements. Simulation accelerates the agile cycle by lowering the cost of each iteration and improving the quality of the feedback. At the end of several simulation iterations, designers have a rock-solid sense of what is needed.

Simulation also provides a better way to test the quality of business processes because it improves on the typical flow diagrams that only sophisticated users can understand.

iRise is the vendor that Woods mentions and that I’ve heard of (here).  They have a SAP-oriented solution (here), but I can’t vouch for it yet.

Also, because this piece is in Forbes, I’ll bet that smart c-level folks will soon be asking their PMOs about whether they are incorporating this approach into their methodologies.  Time to crack the “sim” books!


4 Responses

  1. […] Ritchie mentions the emergence of "Sim": "… because this piece is in Forbes, I’ll bet that smart c-level […]

  2. It seems to me that ‘sim’ is really just prototyping. A way of getting a better up front design? Agile is about building working, useable software. What am I missing?

  3. Sounds like “rapid application development” might becoming back in vogue again. For more insight, research Barry Boehm and the Spiral development life cycle from the 1980’s. ANd, once more I find myself thinking: “Folks, separate your project’s life cycle model from the methodologies available to you; select, from those methodologies, those processes that best fit the requirements of your project, your stakeholders. That could be a rapid prototype/simulation to flesh out those unknown requirements, an agile approach to developing the initial release, and then more traditional approach to enhancing that initial release.”

  4. This sounds similar to what my company has been doing in building business processes. We start with a high-level flow and through the iterations, get into more detail on how the user interface should look. It’s very effective when you have sufficient customer involvement.

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