We are an Agile-first team that has been running projects on this basis from day 1. Agile means different things to different people so here we explain how we utilize different aspects of the practice to deliver maximum value in our work.
Our approach to Agile
We use whatever best fits the overall shape of the project and the environment we'll be working in. We're constantly learning what works (and what doesn't) in our organisation and adapting our approach. We push an Agile-first methodology in everything we do, typically using Scrum for project delivery and Kanban for support. We observe the typical ceremonies and our delivery managers push hard on stakeholders to get them engaged in the process.
We push hard to get good product ownership on all our projects. Having someone able to provide quick (good) feedback and take decisions is critical and we work with the business to try and identify and train a PO right from the start.
MVP, MDP, RAT - there’s many takes on the art of moving quickly and rapidly prototyping your way to success. We’re flexible with the precise details as each new project is slightly different but we believe that small is beautiful and are slowly adopting lean into our processes.
BDD & Automated Testing
Behavior-driven development (BDD) is an agile testing methodology based on test-driven development (TDD). BDD blends the standards of test-driven development with ideas from domain-driven design and object-oriented analysis to provide software developers and business analysts with a shared way of collaborating on software development. With BDD we engage stakeholders and the delivery team and make sure that all have the same understanding.
We know we’re not perfect...
Over the years we have learnt a lot about the challenges Agile faces in a large, complex organisation and we don't want to oversell ourselves as offering some sort of Agile Nirvana. It's not the case and we are definitely still learning. These are the problems we continue to have to overcome:
Selling Agile to skeptical stakeholders
"What do you mean you don’t know what you’re building, how long it’ll take or how much money it’ll cost me?" Sound familiar? We have no magic bullet for this other than our credibility and a lot of patient explanation. That we continue to run new projects on an Agile basis tells us we’re doing something right, even if the road is rocky on occasion.
Growing a PO
Agile projects operating without a dedicated, enthusiastic Product Owner really struggle. We strive to identify the right person in advance, but sometimes it is still hard work. We continue to learn how to find and grow our POs in a busy organisation that is new to the concept.
Water-gile / Scrum-fall
Some of the projects we get asked to work on are just too big, too complex and with other teams / stakeholders that aren’t used to Agile for Agile to work. Where possible we have a conversation about Agile Adoption and even if we're the best team for the job, but sometimes we just have to get on with it and play the long game.
Artists representation of our highly professional team... of course we all wear suits... all the time...