Travelers Insurance Company of Hartford, Connecticut has adopted agile development methodologies. The insurance field can be competitive, and Travelers wanted to have the shortest “time to implement” in the field. Travelers set up development teams of six people—two systems analysts, two representatives from the user group (such as claim services), a project manager, and a clerical support person. In the agile approach, the users are physically assigned to the development team for the project. While at first it might seem that the users are just sitting around drinking coffee and not doing their regular jobs, that is not the case. The rapport that is developed within the team allows for instant communication. The interaction is very deep and profound. The resulting software product is delivered quickly—and, generally, with all the features and nuances that the users wanted.
1. Could this be done differently, such as through JAD sessions or having the users review the program on a weekly basis, rather than taking the users away from their real jobs to work on development?
2. What mind-set does an analyst need to work on such an approach?