At GearedApp, Agile is at the core of how we work. To us it is more than just a buzzword but it encompasses our entire culture and how we operate together and alongside our clients.
Along with the Agile methodology comes a whole host of jargon. From Sprint Planning to Story-Mapping, understanding the Agile lingo can be a little overwhelming to a newcomer to the Agile way of working.
Read on to discover the Agile & Scrum terminologies we use to develop collaborative, responsive app and web platforms.
How do GearedApp use Agile?
Starting from a rough idea, we produce work in small bursts of two weeks – these are called Sprints. Working this way allows us to nurture our understanding of our clients’ needs and develop the final product through constant iterations and communication.
We start off with what is referred to as a Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. Essentially, this is the necessary features of your product. Similar to building a house, creating an MVP is like laying the groundworks before extending the kitchen and adding a sun-room.
An MVP helps you to test and validate your ideas before further investments or development cycles. We start off small and develop with every sprint creating flexibility throughout the entire process.
What are the Roles in Scrum?
In every project, there’s a Scrum Master or Project Manager. The Scrum Master does whatever it takes to make the team and project successful. This might involve removing any obstacles, facilitating meetings and acting as a point of contact between the team and client. The Scrum Master essentially ensures efficiency.
The product owner’s role is to communicate their product vision effectively to the development team. At GearedApp, we do things a little differently where product ownership is concerned, opting for someone on the client’s side. This individual is a key stakeholder so understands exactly what their product requirements are. The product owner makes it easier for us to fulfill the client’s requirements and get their product just right.
Quality Assurance Tester (QA)
A QA works closely with the Product Owner to make sure the development team is clear on what the definition of “done” is for each User Story (see below). Their role is ongoing, proactively addressing potential bugs throughout each sprint, and eliminating problems as they are happening. The QA ensure that you do not get to the end of a project and find a load of bugs causing issues.
The development team brings the product vision to fruition. Our team of developers bring your ideas to life. They work together to create it all and are the machine at the heart of the whole process.
Terms You Should Know
We describe all of our tasks and actions in a project using user stories. A user story is just what it says on the tin – it describes each software feature from the perspective of the end-user, in a short descriptive sentence with the goal in mind. They usually take the structure: As a [persona], I [want to], [so that].
Essentially, the sprint backlog is a list of tasks to be completed by the team during the sprint. It encompasses everything that must be done for successful completion of the user story. The backlog is prioritised at the start of every sprint, and is put together in sprint planning. It helps us to plan future sprints, and forms the backbone of our project.
Traditionally in project management, work is estimated by time. In Agile, time is estimated by story points. Story points are ultimately a metric for measuring the effort required to implement a user story or backlog of tasks. Every user story/backlog has a number which indicates the level of difficulty in completing the tasks. We find it efficient in estimating the amount of work still to be done.
User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
User Acceptance Testing happens right at the end of the project – sometimes referred to as End User Testing. After the product has already been thoroughly tested, the client then uses the app or website for a set time to ensure that it does exactly what they had intended. If the client approves it, the app release can get underway.
What are the Sprint Ceremonies?
At each sprint, we have what are referred to as Sprint Ceremonies. Ultimately these are progress meetings with the team and client to evaluate how things are going and our next steps. The four Sprint Ceremonies are:
Sprint planning is run by our Scrum Master, and is the first event in our process kicking everything off. During sprint planning, estimates and forecasts are created outlining how much work the team thinks will be involved. This ceremony sets the team up and helps to make sure everyone is on the same page. Sprint planning doesn’t just happen once, but every two weeks at the start of a new sprint.
Half way through each sprint, the team gets together for a review meeting, referred to as sprint refinement. These are held to make sure we’re on top of any changes, refine tickets, and to plan and prepare for the next sprint. At this stage, the team present as opposed to the Scrum Master – it is informal and everyone is invited. Sprint refinement is a really important part in our process to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Every day the team has a daily standup meeting to let everyone know how they’re getting on with their tasks. These meetings are light and informative, tending to last no longer than fifteen minutes. Every person has the opportunity to speak and let the team know what they were working on yesterday, what they will be working on today and if there is anything blocking them in the process. We find that daily stand-ups mean greater collaboration between us all, and generally make us work better together.
Continuous improvement is a key aspect of the Agile way of working. Throughout each project we hold retrospectives, also known as retros, to reflect on how to become more time-efficient, collaborative, and ultimately work better together. We view retrospectives as a safe place where the team can be super transparent and chat about improvements. For us, it provides the opportunity to just be honest. Without these, speaking up openly about how things are going would be much more challenging.
Our Agile Team
When it comes to delivering digital solutions, making our clients happy is at the core of how we operate. Agile enhances our collaboration and communication with the team and our clients.
Using Agile, we can build digital solutions that will make their difference to the world. And, understanding the terminology is the first step in the process!
Discover Collaborative Digital Solutions with GearedApp
Our friendly team of pros will be with you every step of the way, from our initial sit-down chat all the way to releasing the finished product. Discover our process to find out more about how GearedApp works.
Get in touch today to find out how we can help turn your awesome ideas into a digital reality.