Disciplined Development

During an iteration, each feature goes through the entire development cycle including design, development, testing and review by the product owner. Using a low-code platform,this happens fast and with Appian’s visual modeling tools, a single Appian developer can bring each feature to life on their own. Testing and review of each feature happens within the iteration allowing the developer to validate that they are truly done with the feature as defined by the “Definition of Done”.

Development Workflow

Each developer will follow a structured set of activities, or development workflow, to implement each story and meet the DoD. The workflow should be tailored based on the context the team is working within, but should include the following steps:

  1. Create a test plan and detailed design.
  2. Decompose story into tasks.
  3. Using the Appian design tools, create the Appian objects that deliver the required functionality.
  4. Test the story according to the test plan.
  5. Another team member peer reviews the story.
  6. The Product Owner performs an acceptance test of the feature. 

 Key Insight: Embed testing into development 

The majority of testing activities should be performed during the build phase as part of the development workflow for each story. It is more efficient to resolve defects during the development process and delaying testing may “hide” work to correct defects that is not accounted for in the plan. It may be necessary to delay some testing, which has a high cost to perform, to the Release phase, but this should be minimized. Teams should design their workflow to include testing which is commonly delayed such as PO acceptance and performance testing. See the Testing Guide for more details on best practice.   


Deployment Pipeline

Development teams use a series of environments, called the deployment pipeline, to perform their development activities, with different steps of the development workflow happening in each environment. The team will agree how their pipeline will be used during the planning phase but at a minimum the pipeline should include the following environments:

  • Development - all development activities and story-level testing are performed in this environment.
  • Test - each story or change is tested on one or more test environments according to the team’s test strategy which should include functional tests, integration tests, user acceptance tests, and non functional tests such as performance tests.
  • Staging (optional) - this environment is to be used to test the deployments to production and to execute performance testing, and more specifically load testing.
  • Production - at the end of the pipeline, the changes are deployed to the production environment after tests are successful and changes are approved for release to stakeholders.


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