JGilmartin - Implementing Agile Software Development Practices for your business
The ever-changing requirements
How can you effectively manage the ever-changing requirements of your software? Are you using the best tools across your development and product teams? Are you successful at planning and delivering a new requirement or solution?
I have worked with Agile teams for a number of years. I’ve seen many variations of Scrum and Agile working practises, some working better than others. Below I describe the agile process I feel works well with a team that consists of developers, product/project managers and QA/Testers. However, I can introduce a tailored version of Agile Software Development that will fit your team regardless if its size and skills resource.
What comprises a typical Sprint?
When working with agile software development, the work throughout the year is broken up into Sprints. The lengths of sprints can vary from different businesses but in general they are 2, 3 or 4 weeks in length. I recommend a Sprint of 3 weeks which equates to 17 – 18 Sprints throughout the year.
At the end of the previous Sprint the team would conduct a grooming session. This is a meeting where the product team present in detail new and existing requirements from the product backlog. The backlog items would be added by the product team as User Stories. User Stories are generally worded so that a developer can read it as a story and implement a solution based on its user journey. A typical example would be “as a user I want to be able to complete the contact form and for both the customer and business to receive a confirmation email”. The aim of this meeting is for the development team to agree which User Stories can be realistically delivered in the next Sprint.
Straight after the grooming session the developers would have a meeting to technically plan the User Stories. Working with me as your Architect or Tech Lead, each User Story would be assigned a number of tasks which form the technical development required to achieve the goal of the user story. Each task which will be individually assigned to developers.
Each day the team would gather for the daily stand-up where each team member describes what they did yesterday, what they will do today and any blockers or issues they have. The purpose is for everyone standing to ensure it doesn’t flow into a long project meeting. Ideally the duration of the Stand-up should be no longer than 15 – 20 minutes, depending on the size of the team.
Delivery is a key phrase
The Shield Backlog
Implement Agile Software Development
By implementing Agile Methodologies both your development and product teams will be better prepared and organized for ever changing requirements. I will introduce you to Azure DevOps which provides the very best agile project management features.
Easily report on team productivity
Its simple to report on the time your developers have spent on user stores, tasks and bugs. Get a full picture of the current Sprint with a visualised backlogs and burndown graphs.
Agile and DevOps features in a single SaaS Solution
By using Azure DevOps you have a full SaaS (Software as a Service) solution that covers everything from Agile methodologies, task management to Automated Deployments, Source Control and branch management.
Plan better with Standups, Sprint Planning and Retros.
Understand the current issues and learn from previous mistakes by conducting daily stand-up’s, technical planning sessions and Sprint Retrospectives.