Posts Tagged Under: Scrum


Agile for Larger Projects

It is no secret that when the Agile methodology was first conceived, this was done with fairly small development teams in mind. Yet today, with Agile’s increasing popularity in software companies across the globe, the old adage “less is more” might finally be losing its original punch.

Instead, more and more providers are now tending towards the notion that with a few clever tweaks and tricks, large Agile teams are still able to maintain the same agility as their smaller counterparts.

So without further ado, let us take a look at some of the most prominent scaling techniques available at the moment and explain how we at Software Planet are efficiently rising up to this challenge.

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User Stories: Bridging the Gap Between Customers and Developers (Updated)

When choosing a software provider to create the web or desktop solution your company needs, communication is indeed key, but this may be easier said than done. The gap between programmers and customers can quickly become apparent and is often a challenge to master, as most customers are unprepared to discuss their projects from a strictly technical point of view.

In order to get past these difficulties and effectively relay their requirements, some companies resort to UML or workflow diagrams, while yet others go for UI sketches and lengthy free text descriptions.

At Software Planet Group, however, we think both customers and developers should always be on the same page, and speak the same language (see our article on the system metaphor for more on this subject). This is why wherever we can, we aim to simplify the management of requirements, using tried-and-true techniques that enable us to quickly determine the full scope of a project, estimate and re-estimate particular features and releases.

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Why Stand-Up Meetings Matter

According to a recent study by the Michigan State University, people who spend a lot of time sitting down are often plagued by slow cognitive function, long-term memory loss and generally poor mental health.

By contrast, the simple act of standing up has been shown to send blood and oxygen pumping throughout our bodies, activating a number of chemicals that not only enhance our brains but also improve our overall mood.

This, however, is merely the scientific case for an Agile practice that over time has proven itself indispensable to development teams across the world, including our own.

We are talking, of course, about stand-up meetings. Whether you know them as “scrums” or “huddles,” the daily stand-up is a powerful practice to increase team unity, coordinate efforts, and share problems and progress in a quick and effective manner.

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Demo Meetings: The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread

According to the seventh principle of Agile development, “working software is the primary measure of progress.”

Before this revolutionary ideal, however, although customers could still in theory be kept informed on the status of their projects, it would take until the very end of a development cycle for them to finally lay eyes on a well-rounded, fully-functioning system.

Thankfully, those days are long behind us, and perhaps nothing better illustrates this point than the brilliant Sprint review — that’s “demo meeting” if you don’t speak Scrumglish.

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Running a Great Retrospective

All too often in life, one simple mistake can lead to a stream of errors that if not stifled early enough, is bound to result in a flood of frustration.

Unfortunately, the same is true in software development. This is why few things are more critical to programmers than ensuring projects are kept on track, come rain or come shine.

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Seeking the Best Development Process? The Key Is Evolution

As a company with a proud history of developing software solutions, Software Planet Group have always sought to be flexible, ever-changing and perpetually on the cutting edge of technology. Through our 16 years of experience, we have learned that after the right people, having the right process is the most important step to ensuring the delivery of a powerful project. This not only saves a lot of time and effort for project participants, but also puts aside well-known pitfalls of development.

For customers, it is important to be aware of the different engineering models because all too often, developers do not guide customers through their processes, and sometimes even fail to mention that they do not use one at all.. The anti-pattern “Code and fix” is the status quo among inexperienced programmers. In essence, this means that coding begins with very little planning and goes on without any intervention, leaving important bug fixes to frequently take place late in the development cycle. This, of course, is a recipe for disaster, as customers are left with ineffective software that can lead to many more headaches than solutions.

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