When you’re part of a company with over twenty years of experience in developing products and projects, making a change the very core of your company can be a big step, especially when you have a good track record and things are working pretty well. When we started toying with the idea of changing how we developed software a few years ago, we asked ourselves many questions about whether we really needed to make this change and how it would impact us. Now, a few years into it, we’re quite happy with the results. As with any change, there are a few bumps along the way, but would we go back? Definitely not.
For those that aren’t familiar with agile development, in particular the Scrum model of agile development, it’s a fundamental shift from the way the industry used to build projects as the way a project is approached is different. As the agile manifesto states, the focus is around people and their interactions, and not around the tools, technology or processes. The way that the projects are managed is also different. The team works closely, with daily interaction between the business contacts and the developers to ensure that the software stays in-line with potentially changing business requirements. Work is done in short, tightly managed sprints, making it easier to track progress and solicit regular feedback. These sprints produce fully tested and robust deliverables of the highest-value features that can be evaluated by all parties and provide a solid basis to keep building on.