Agile in Legacy Apps - Mission Impossible?

How many times did you hear: legacy systems are not a good fit for Agile transformation? Have you ever said it yourself? I want to tell you a story of a digital transformation in Premier to prove you wrong. Agile is not only a great fit for the legacy applications, it an absolute business necessity, because how else can you provide incremental value for hundreds or thousands of users through a flexible adjustable roadmap?

My story is not going to be about an immediate success. We've had our fair share of problems, challenges, and small failures. "Legacy" means "old". It means - outdated technology stack, messy dependencies, code that nobody understands, manual testing, manual builds, manual deployments, redundant features. Also, customer issues, bugs, performance issues, scalabiity concerns. Wait, did I mention dependencies?

Come to the session if any of this sounds familiar, if you're afraid of starting the Agile transformation, or if your company already went through a number of initiatives but the old habits die hard. I will share the valuable lessons we've learned from our experience, the strategies to apply to make the changes stick, as well as the anti-patterns to watch for.


Outline/Structure of the Experience Report

1) Introduction 3 min

2) Jump start Agile transformation in a legacy space - 5 min

3) Relentless automation - where to begin? - 5 min

4) Quality - elevate testers! - 5 min

5) Path to modernization - 2 min

Learning Outcome

1) Specific advice and helpful tips to kick off an agile transformation in a legacy space, such as

  • how to start delivering every sprint?
  • how to kick start automation?
  • how to focus on quality?
  • how to build path to modernization?

2) Challenges, anti-patterns and potential pitfalls to watch out for, like

  • not sufficient, or not consistent training for teams and product owners
  • funding that doesn't prioritize technical debt
  • culture that doesn't focus on quality

Target Audience

Developers, testers, managers, product owners

schedule Submitted 11 months ago

Public Feedback

comment Suggest improvements to the Speaker
  • Balaji.M
    By Balaji.M  ~  8 months ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Katy,

    Thanks for submitting the proposal, we have seen the agile transformation in legacy is challenging and long journey.

    I like these aspects of the submission, and they should be retained:

    • Of reorganising the teams, bringing automation and now you are having working product every 2 weeks

    I think the submission could be improved by:

    • details on challenges and how did you overcome
    • new coaching techniques or approach towards mindset change 
    • how organisation change management aspects were brought in

    if you can update the proposal addressing the above feedback will help to align the proposal to 'Agile Mindset' Track.