Our Agile Process

Despite (or perhaps because of) this progress, our list of “things to do” continues to grow –with more suggestions arriving from our growing range of clients, and our internal deliberations continuing.

We continue to refine our own method of ensuring we are always focused on what’s of next highest value to customers.

 

A. The principles of Agile

How we work is fundamentally based on the four underlying principles of “The Agile Manifesto”, which was initially documented back in 2001 to reflect the perspectives of a group of experienced software developers.

They wrote:

“We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.  Through this work we have come to value:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Working software over comprehensive documentation

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

Responding to change over following a plan

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.”

 

For those who want more details, you can find this here:

http://agilemanifesto.org/

B. Iterative Development, and the Product backlog

Based on the principles espoused in the above, we have been working with an iterative development process that is loosely based on principles of a methodology known as “SCRUM”.

The company Mountain Goat Software has put together this useful explanation of their view of Scrum:

http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/presentations/an-introduction-to-scrum

The following image from an earlier version of their presentation is particularly good for explaining the general way that iterations (also called “sprints”) are of short duration, and focused on delivering a new increment of value for customers:

 

C. Interaction with clients

One aspect of our process is worth highlighting explicitly – it’s the need for frequent interactions with client(s) – as, through these interactions we receive feedback on the current version, and are able to adapt to customer’s changing priorities.

Because we prioritise what’s of “next highest value” every sprint, we need frequent interaction with our customers.

We appreciate the opportunity to do this in person, where possible – and we augment this with interaction via phone, email and WebEx.