What is Agile and How Does It Benefit Kaleida’s Customers in the Bespoke Development Process?
The work philosophy ‘Agile’ has revolutionised how software developers approach the development process. Gone are the days of clunky methodologies and communication barriers; replaced instead with a culture of collaboration and flexibility. it is within such an environment that projects truly succeed. This is why we’re starting to see more industries adopt an Agile methodology and perhaps it is something your business is considering if not already practising.
At Kaleida it has helped to carve out great success for our team and remove inefficiencies, so we’ve decided to share our understanding of Agile, as well as how it helps our clients and our own people to thrive. If you’d like to find out more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, and we’d be happy to answer your questions.
Agile: An Introduction
Although sometimes referred to as a ‘methodology’, Agile is actually closer to a philosophy or mindset, whilst the likes of Scrum are frameworks which put that philosophy into action. Agile is underpinned by four main values:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
These values opt for more flexible ways of working as opposed to more rigid methods that can slow down the development process and create more work for the people involved. This flexibility is where Agile gets its name from, and it allows for a more efficient, faster-moving, and more responsive experience.
What is Scrum?
As mentioned above, Scrum is the framework which puts the Agile values and philosophies into practice, providing teams with a guide to completing projects. In Scrum the workflow is more flexible and can be broken down into estimated blocks of time. These estimates establish how many hours should be assigned to different parts of the project, and allows the team to undertake a ‘sprint’ – a focus on completing specific sections of the project which can create a working feature together, in a short amount of time.
The success of this workflow is measured in a ‘burndown chart’, which clearly illustrates how much project time remains after each sprint, presenting the information in a clear, visual manner. With a burndown chart on side, teams can factor in late changes and better measure their own efficiency, granting the opportunity to make amends, as well as highlighting where help or additional resource is needed.
How Does This Way of Working Help Our Clients?
Kaleida has adopted the Agile method for our bespoke development process for many reasons, but at the heart of the decision are three main benefits:
– Better communication
By putting people first, Agile encourages our team to communicate more effectively with one another, as well as with clients. For our team, the short 15-minute standing meetings included in the Scrum framework allow for more effective communication and a faster problem-solving route. People don’t keep problems to themselves, and members of the team support one another to keep the project on track.
Agile encourages us to collaborate more with clients, and as part of Scrum, our team determines what clients wish to see in the final product early on in the process. Immediately, their opinions are heard and factored into the project and they are happier to provide feedback knowing we’re really listening.
The result is a process which leaves nobody outside, looking in – instead, everybody on both sides is working together to achieve brilliant things.
– Better results
Speaking of brilliance, Agile has allowed us to provide our clients with far better results and higher rates of success. By breaking work down into sprints and tracking time left in a burndown chart, our team is able to adapt their workflow to the client’s wishes.
All software development teams have experienced it at least once: a client has decided they’d like a feature changed late in the project, or perhaps something ‘just needs a tweak’ – but the reality is that the tweak is days of work, and it may be too late to make those feature changes. By being able to react faster and adapt the workflow with ease, clients can have those wishes heard and implemented no matter how late into the project they make them known, all with minimal effect on how work is completed.
– Better value for money
Time is money, and with the Agile values in place, our time is being used far more effectively across the software development process. That’s why our clients are seeing much better value for money with our services. We’re saving time and bringing the cost down. Additionally, clients are getting their perfected final product much faster than with traditional methodologies – and with tangible results at every stage – whilst being able to feel confident that quality is not being compromised in the process. This means they don’t have to choose between compromising on cost, money or quality – they can have everything!
Agile has allowed our team to free themselves from restrictive workloads and to bring down the barriers between Kaleida and its clients. The result is a more effective way of working, better value for money and a bespoke development process which ensures quality is never undermined, while time is used more effectively. We really have found a way to break free of the dreaded project management ‘Iron Triangle’.
Thanks to our team’s adoption of Agile, we’ve been able to be part of so many client success stories, and can truly offer an experience which is positive for both our team and our clients. To read more about the results of our Agile working on client projects, we have a host of frequently updated case studies here for you.
Interested in working with us to see how Agile values and the Scrum framework can benefit you? Don’t hesitate to get in touch – we’d be more than happy to talk through your requirements with you.