Coding for Scrubs: Agile Workflow

How understanding this project management methodology will improve your project's efficiency and success rate.

What is Agile?

A product development process that is broken into small, manageable development cycles called sprints. At the end of these sprints, you receive customer feedback and then take action on it before moving on to the next feature. By doing this, you’re actively involving the customer in the process instead of assuming what would work for them. You also aren’t waiting towards the very end of development to receive feedback and only handle one major release every couple of months. Using Agile helps meet goals faster and build team culture and chemistry!

Because Agile breaks everything down into smaller bits, this really helps teams focus on what they need to work on, one feature at a time. It is really easy to get lost in a wave of requests through the traditional way of doing things. These tasks are then broken down into story points. The points are based on the task's complexity and give you a rough idea of how long it might take you to complete.

The most significant difference between traditional and Agile is how the team roles look. In traditional environments, developers are separate from the designers who are separate from the project managers who are separate from the business analysts. (You get the point!) Each team member has their specialty and they stick to it. But with Agile, roles are much more blended and everyone communicates with each other on the project/feature. You still stick with your specialty, but you are more involved with one another.

How to Create an Agile Workflow?

  1. First, make sure your team has an understanding of the principles of Agile and how to adopt the right practices. This means going over everyone’s roles, having a daily standup, making weekly goals, and also communicating about what didn’t go well.
  2. Create realistic sprints that aren’t overwhelming. Remember sprints go on a week-to-week basis, so do not try to do too much in that short timeframe. The whole point of Agile is to make the process more encouraging and comfortable for your team!
  3. Start defining the team roles. Everyone plays a part and it’s important to establish them.
  4. Start working! Once the team has developed the sprint’s backlog items, make sure to have the project manager or owner present them to customers. The team will use that feedback to see what changes need to be made and then can be continued to work on. There will then be a review of everything that has happened before the team moves forward to the next sprint!

Important workflow tools:

  • Document product backlog
  • Plan the sprints
  • Facilitate team collaboration

Helpful Resources for Your Team:

Thank you for reading! I hope everyone gives Agile a try!

Software Engineer in the making.