May 12, 2021

How to deliver an agile app project with SAP and iOS SDK

Agile app development is gaining increasing popularity replacing the traditional waterfall model in many projects. The latest version of iOS SDK by SAP is one example of an environment in which software development teams can deliver agile app projects with great success.

How to deliver an agile app project with SAP and iOS SDK

Building next generation apps requires an agile approach on many occasions. An agile project provides a more flexible approach to app development, including with SAP. We need applications delivered faster and agile is one method to achieve that, so it is not surprising that 63% of organizations are already implementing agile and scrum.

Let’s see what you need to know before you start delivering SAP agile projects using iOS SDK.

What is SAP iOS SDK

Basically, SAP SDK for iOS is a Swift-based set of frameworks and tools that enable you to develop enterprise apps for iPhone and iPad. It includes a variety of key building blocks as well as a library of UX and UI components.

Building of high-performance apps is achieved also through providing access to backend services like Location Services, Notifications, and Touch ID as well as connection to the latest SAP Cloud Platform mobile services.

The framework allows developers to easily create single sign-on and synchronize offline data. SAP iOS SDK also allows for secure access to SAP S/4HANA and third-party systems, which in turn enables organizations to take full advantage of real-time data streams.

As a whole, the framework enables your agile team to build native apps for a diverse set of industry verticals. Nevertheless, you should understand that SAP agile projects differ greatly from SAP waterfall projects.

Principles of Agile for SAP

SAP agile projects differ from waterfall in a few key aspects. First, you do not need to document all problems and solutions upfront and thus the project evolves naturally. The app development team is not tied to a set of fixed specifications, so you can use SAP iOS SDK in many innovative ways.

However, you should not use agile for SAP blindly. To use it or not depends a lot on your stakeholders. Stakeholders needs to accept that they will not know exactly what they will get, they have to trust that the team can deliver a great solution! Identify who are your stakeholders before turning a project to agile instead of waterfall.

Source: Statista

The main benefits that SAP agile projects should bring to the table include shorter development cycles, better quality and stability as well as to make the application delivery process more efficient. This requires a very high level of collaboration and provision of feedback at all organizational levels.

A good idea is to start small in order to polish and prove the entire agile process. Switching to agile for SAP can be painful for some stakeholders or organizations, so starting with a small and safe project will give you the time and resources to make the process work.

But how do you make agile for SAP really work?

Delivering Successful SAP Agile Projects

You should stick to a few basic principles when using SAP iOS SDK with the framework of an agile project.

A basic principle of agile is to deliver valuable software as early as possible. This is the case also for agile projects in an SAP environment but in an SAP environment you normally have stricter release management and it can be a challenge to get a product pushed to production after each sprint. If you can’t get it through to production you will not realize the value directly but you should still aim at delivering a working product in development or test environment to the end-users at the end of each sprint (or more frequently than that). It is a key success factor to push frequent versions to the user community to get engagement and valuable feedback for the next sprint.  

Make your product backlog a living document and welcome changes to the requirements even on later project stages. You need to have a tight dialogue with your end users and encourage them to suggest changes to the product at all times.

Moreover, you need to build a cross-functional team in which business people and software developers are working together on a daily basis. If you have a team that is spread geographically, my experience is that you should have the team onsite at least every second week during the sprints. The reason for this is that in an SAP iOS SDK development there is a lot of dialogue between PO, front-end developer, oDATA and backend to get things working.

Unlike the waterfall model where you have preset requirements and specs, you discuss and clarify the requirements on the go and between sprints.

How to succeed with an agile project in an SAP environment.    

  • You need a Product owner that is knowledgeable and has mandate. Even better if it is a product owner that already has the trust from the end-user community. It’s also a plus if the product owner has an understanding of SAP.
  • You must have competente resources on all positions, project manager, front-end-dev, odata and backend.
  • You should fight to keep a consistent team throughout the project.
  • Engaged, decisive and pragmatic sponsor that trusts the PM/Scrum master and helps him/her to ”guard” the team.
  • A PM/Scrum master that keep politics and ”admin” work away from the team.
  • Ownership – Team members most own their tasks, don’t wait, talk to your teammates!
  • Engaged and knowledgeable end users that take an active part of demos and testing to give feedback to bring into the next sprint.

You can install SAP iOS SDK and run an iOS app in less than a day. However, you’ll need much more time to shift to agile in an SAP environment if you are just starting to adopt the agile approach.

Claes Widestadh Author

Claes Widestadh

Interim COO