Wondering how to talk your boss into using the Agile Method for your next project? Our Software Engineer Thiagus Ferreira has some pointers on how to do just that.
First, you need a good understanding of what Agile is and how it came to be. In the past, developers and IT teams used a method called Waterfall. And it worked just like it sounds, sort of like a flow chart cascading to each step in the process. In theory, it’s a great method.
In practice, it made adapting the project to new changes and needs really difficult. Projects could get really expensive and time-consuming because each stage of the process was so separate from the rest.
Along the way, someone got smart and developed what we now call the Agile Method. The term can be applied to a few different (but similar methods), but here’s how it works at PoaTek.
Say for instance, one of our customers, let’s call him Joe, wants to add a feature to their software. They tell their developers here at PoaTek who then add it to their product backlog.
Every two to four weeks, our devs start new sprints – a set time frame to complete as much of the backlog as they can. So when the time for a new sprint comes up, they get to work on Joe’s new feature. Instead of functioning as a cascade, their process is more fluid.
While our devs are writing code, they’re also constantly testing and making sure the user experience is high quality. This way, they can make small, incremental changes as they go, instead of having to completely start the process over again.
Your boss or manager likes to hear words that translate as dollar signs. If you can show the dollar value of the Agile Method, you’re golden. Agile projects are less bulky and require less time and less manpower to complete, so they’re going to cost less overall.
Projects are also more efficient – which saves time and money, both precious resources, says Thiagus.
“[Agile] is a modern and very efficient development framework that is widely used today,” Thiagus said. “It will help your company to improve customer satisfaction by delivering working products sooner and constantly aggregating value to your business in each sprint. It will also improve your team members’ engagement by giving them ownership and faster feedbacks on what they are developing.”
And the way this method works, it’s easily trackable if it’s on target timewise. At the beginning of the project, the team estimates the number of hours they think it will take, and then throughout the project, they graph the hours they spend each day to create a “burnout chart.”
“Once you define the tasks of a sprint, you take their respective remaining hours to get the total amount of hours for that sprint,” Thiagus said. “The chart creates a projection from day 1 (with the total amount of remaining hours) to the last day of the sprint (with zero hours remaining). Every day the team members update the tasks they are working on with the new remaining hours and that makes it possible to check if the new total amount of remaining hours is above or under the projected line.”
Final products also tend to be more accurate and better suited to meet the real needs of the administrators and users. The reason for this is because throughout the entire project, the developers are testing and re-testing to make sure everything is working and the UX and UI is functional and useable.
Want to chat more about how Agile can benefit your next project? Let’s connect!