Developers and Product Managers all over the world have experimented with a lot tools to ensure that the old analogy the ‘Customer is King’ is satisfied. Developing software using the agile methodology can be both testing and satisfying for a team. It will let the customer have access to the tool early and this as well has it advantages and disadvantages. But the question is, does this ensure delivery of the product on time.
The Agile Methodology Vs Delivery
Our team at GuildDigital has experimented with multiple workflows and tools to practice the agile methodology. Some of the tools we have used over time include Slack, Jira, Trello, Airtable, but are these tools ‘customer friendly’?
Because as you build with the agile methodology it’s important for the customer to understand requirements as well as the team does. Delivering software to a stakeholder that has no technology background can be tasking if the communication of the building strategy and roadmap is not clear. Communicating when the different features should be designed, built and delivered should be a ‘Breeze’ at least that is what most teams think, but this is becoming something that most teams should pay more attention to in addition to the already existing agile artefacts like issue tracking, prioritisation, continuous delivery cycles, sprint planning.
Let us also not forget the other plates we need to spin (referencing Life’s Plate Spinning Theory), there is a lot more we need to consider like team cohesion, project timelines and deadlines, time to learn, modelling the code to suit the requirements, stand-ups, estimating sprint velocity and many other workflows.
Tweaking our Methodology
How many of these workflows add value to what is important to the customer or client, they might be helpful but do they really contribute to what our client is interested in? The team in a recent sprint experimented with Estimating sprint Velocity and it became a handicap to delivery rather than a value add, the team resorted to turning back to a more traditional sprint planning workflow which we described as assign timelines to the tasks rather than story points.
Continuing to Learn and Improve
With all these factors put into consideration we begin to learn that our biggest task is to apply the agile methodology to a project with a waterfall work plan. We still have to deliver our customer’s product on time and we need to make sure that People | Process | Product are aligned and we deliver value in the process. It takes time to zero down one methodology that will provide the ultimate workflow. Teams need to ensure that they learn and continue to improve, one of the ways we at Guild Digital are taking this on is through capacity building through one of our partners Medic. The other is through constantly retrospecting the different sprints we have and making the necessary improvements and adjustments necessary to fine-tune the process and deliver better.
As we are trying to find our path in this space, we continually test our methodology to ensure that the product timelines are met and the products are delivered effectively and efficiently.
Guild Digital is a group of top tech implementers and leaders who are passionate about advancing social change by listening to and supporting the social sector’s quest for meaningful, affordable and appropriate technology aligned with the mission. We’re experts in technology with a passion for social justice, and a commitment to further positive social change.