MNO Use of Agile Product Development
2013.07.09   |   28 pages   |   New Services & Technologies

Jeroen Visser



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The majority of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) use the traditional Waterfall method for New Product Development, which takes development initiatives from detailed requirement capture and high level design to implementation. With the Waterfall Method newer tools are being introduced such as personas creation, user stories, use cases, and customer journey. Some MNO teams go further and experiment with their own versions of Agile and sprint related product development approaches.

Competitors of the MNOs, especially the Over The Top players, will mainly be using the newer and more flexible product development methods. This is because they are more likely to be software driven companies, companies without bricks and mortar infrastructure, and often smaller in size.

These competitors seem to have the upper hand in time-to-market with new products and services. This, combined with the significant hype around flexible product development methods such as Agile, is leading MNOs to review their product development processes.

In this report, we examine the MNO experience with Agile development methods to date. We also offer guidance on how and where Agile development methods can prove most productive for MNOs.

Keywords: Waterfall Product Development, Agile Product Development, MNO Use of Agile Product Development,

Table of Contents
1 Overview 1
2 Introduction 2
2.1 Background to the Report 2
2.2 Report Content 2
2.3 Further Questions and Feedback 3
3 Waterfall Product Development in Mature Mobile Network Operators 4
3.1 Overview Waterfall 4
3.2 The Benefits of Waterfall 5
3.3 The Drawbacks of Waterfall 5
4 Agile Driven Development 7
4.1 Agile Overview 7
4.2 The Benefits of Agile 8
4.3 The Drawbacks of Agile 8
5 MNO Agile Development Experiences 10
5.1 Overview 10
5.2 Time to Market 10
5.3 The Organisation and the Type of Products 10
5.3.1 Where in the Organisation? 10
5.3.2 What Kinds of Products are Most Suitable for Agile? 11
5.3.3 What Type of Products: Consumer or Business? 11
5.4 Product Management & Product development 11
5.5 Product Development Processes and Procedures 12
5.6 Product Delivery and Implementation 14
5.7 Suppliers and Outsourcing Partners 15
5.8 People, Roles and Responsibilities 15
5.9 Company Culture and Management 17
6 The MNO Agile Hybrid 19
6.1 Overview 19
6.2 The MNO Agile Hybrid Works When? 19
6.3 The Useful Agile Tools Even in a Waterfall Development Method 20
6.4 Things to Manage Carefully While Using a Hybrid Development Method 20
7 Product Development Improvements Besides Agile 22
7.1 Overview 22
8 Key Findings 24
8.1 Key Findings of Agile Product Development at Mobile Network Operators 24
9 Recommendations 26
10 Appendix Agile 27
10.1 Manifesto for Agile Software Development 27
10.2 Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto 27
  Appendix - Feedback Questions 29

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