Back in the day, we primarily used the Waterfall approach but today we typically do things in the Agile format when the approach is the most appropriate for the project.
We’ve talked about how we use Agile principles before, and even touched on why we made the switch from primarily using Waterfall.
OK, that all sounds good – but what does it really mean to be Agile in our day-to-day development? Let me talk about this process a bit from a developer’s perspective.
Agile in Action
One of our recent projects where we utilized the Agile approach is Native Eyewear’s updated e-commerce website. At the beginning of the project, our team fleshed out the basic design of the project and met to define “user stories” to cover the functionality of the site. For example, one user story was defined as “I am a customer and I want to buy a pair of sunglasses online.” We then attached an estimate for the number of sprints required to build out each story. A sprint can be one week, two weeks or a month-long period of development.
Once development began, our team met daily for “stand-up meetings” where we answered the questions: “What did I complete yesterday?”, “What do I plan to do today?” and “What blockers are there to complete my tasks?” These stand-up meetings helped to maintain an open stream of communication among the team members, which included developers and project managers, and kept our development moving along allowing us to focus on what we needed to accomplish each day in order to complete our user stories.
User Stories, Demos and Collaboration
Once our “I want to buy a pair of sunglasses online” user story was complete, it was tested, reviewed internally and then demoed for our client. At this demo, the client could clarify anything that was unclear or change something without as many implications had the change been required once the entire project was complete. This happened many times in Native Eyewear’s development – one such time was a rework of the steps on the checkout screen and the interactions between the user and the checkout flow. We updated the story, reworked the code and were on to the next sprint.
The end result of implementing the Agile approach for the Native Eyewear website was a project that was launched on-time and with little post-launch support time required. We created client delight and instilled a sense of pride and satisfaction within our team. More importantly, the new website resulted in an increase in online order completion for our client.
In our efforts to provide the best software development for our clients, our team is constantly evolving, fine-tuning and updating our processes so they are more efficient, more robust and more solid.