Being Agile to better meet your needs

A little bit of history

In the beginning, Omnimed’s developers worked like most of all engineers, according to the Waterfall methodology. In short, our developers defined the needs only once with the clients, and they did deliver only when the project established was final. Because of unforeseen factors, it often happened that the development was longer than expected.

The problem with this working method is that when we were ready to deliver the product, the needs had often changed. Result: a lot of time and effort spent with few results.

The Agility approach in the software development field

Since the arrival of the Web version of Omnimed’s EMR, we have changed our work methods in order to be more flexible and to better answer our clients’ needs. We have opted for a quite new but increasingly widespread work method in the software development field: the Agile method.

This method takes back the three Waterfall method steps but puts less emphasis on the exact definition of the need. It is rather a question of defining the need in a global way and adjusting along the way by checking often with the clients if the project takes the right direction.

The project is this way segmented into small projects. The goal is to be able to deliver quickly functional elements of the project.

Here is a concrete example linked to the Appointment module recast in the EMR:

In the EMR’s old version (CMV), we already had an appointment module. We must develop such a module in our Web version, which represents a huge project. We decided that each month or almost, we would try to deliver a new element which ultimately will lead to a complete module. By working that way, we can validate more easily nearby Omnimed’s users their satisfaction concerning the delivered elements and we can adjust ourselves quickly. This allows us to improve the product gradually and according to our client's real needs.

This method does not allow us to pretend that we have a perfect final product. However, it allows us to be really attentive to our clients and to be able to evolve our product according to the market trend, technologies, and medicine in general.