Agile in Real Time: Why It Works

The software world has firmly decided that the Agile method is here to stay. Numerous big companies proudly proclaim it’s use, articles expound on the theory and the buzz has settled to a background beat for many teams. But how many small teams actually explain how they make the Agile method work for them?

The Agile manifesto is a wonderful place to start; however, many people have started projects with similar manifestos in the past. Small issues become bigger, problems arise, people get frustrated, and projects falter in production. By its nature, Agile solves more of these typical problems for any size team. However, not every principle is used in every situation.

Here’s an overview of how Swan Software Solutions makes Agile work for our team and customers.

A Hybrid Approach: The Foundation

At Swan, we use a fully extended Agile scrum methodology. This gives us the best of the Agile world for our employees, needs and processes. Our approach is threefold and is composed of our sprint planning, our unique Wedge team, and our Product Owner member of the individual team.

In our sprint planning, we focus on results using a point system. This enables us to compare and contrast the relative difficulty. Our Wedge team in brief is a team composed of essential players who don’t need to be involved full time. And the Product Owner is the representative of the client to the team. This member is in direct communication with team every step of the way, ensuring the client’s needs are met and revisions are communicated in a timely manner.

Communication: The Framework

If we’ve heard it once, we’ve heard it a thousand times: Communication is key. Though some may roll their eyes at the old saying, it’s as true as ever. The Agile method takes this into account by instituting face-to-face communication as a fundamental principle. It’s up to the individual teams to put this into practice. For outsourcing teams, this can pose a unique set of issues.

Video conferences, can be a great way of communicating “face-to-face”. For teams who don’t share the same building, this is the best way to keep the meetings going and progress on the rise. Here at Swan, we opt for a video conference for any important discussion, depending on length. Our clients are in on appropriate meetings and are more than welcome to contact us at any time. This ensures transparency where it is most needed for all.

Delivering Results: The Heart

The heart of Agile is delivering working results as quickly as possible. Many people love this, which is part of why Agile is so wildly popular. Fast results come at a price, which is not always measured in dollars. How does a company make sure that they are receiving high quality, Agile results instead of fast, perhaps buggy and flawed, results?

The Swan answer is continuous collaboration and quality assurance. These are topics that are far too vast to cover here beyond a quick overview. A deeper analysis of our methods can be found here. The short version is that our DevOps rests on constant, steady communication between the developers and the operations team. Our quality assurance processes underlie every step of the way, from the first discovery meeting to the final meeting and beyond. Human error is a flaw everyone has to deal with at some time or other, and Swan plans accordingly to compensate.

Staying Agile: The Name

At the end of the day, the name needs to be propelled by the spirit of the team. Communication, collaboration and key aspects of quality assurance are the same. The best principles and guidelines in the world are only the best when they are followed. The Agile method has been around long enough and has enough variations that it can work for almost any team format–if the team is willing.

At Swan, the team realizes the immense potential of Agile. We actively seek out developers, managers, HR and others who share the same mindset to join our team to better serve our customers. We are proud of our people and confident in the solutions we bring to you, our customers.

This is just a short overview of how we bring a hybrid Agile method to our work and customers. And we’d love to bring it to you and your issues! Contact us today to open up a conversation about what you need and how we can help.

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