At NS90, we have adopted an agile approach and follow the scrum framework when developing our software products.
Adopting an agile approach has been proven to improve the management of changing priorities, productivity and project visibility. Through scrum, we foster a collaborative environment where team members are communicating daily, have clearly defined goals for every piece of work and are working to create a demonstrable piece of work every 2/3 weeks.
We currently work with established, self-sufficient scrum teams, including developers, QA testers, infrastructure, a scrum master and product owner. Each team meets for daily scrum meetings, detailing work completed from the previous day and what they plan to do for the forthcoming day. The team also meets for planning sessions, refinement sessions, a sprint review (demo) and a retrospective.
Each sprint is generally broken down into 2-week or 3-week periods. The product owner creates a prioritised list of backlog items for the team which are brought into the sprint during each planning session. The team aims to have a demonstrable user story, or stories, completed by the end of each sprint. The team works with the product owner to ensure that they understand the business reason behind each user story. Each user story should be a piece of work that brings value to the business.
The scrum master acts as a facilitator for all scrum meetings. She runs the sessions and ensures that no team member is blocked, that they all understand their tasks and works with the product owner to ensure the backlog is up-to-date.
At NS90, we employ a 'definition of done' for all tasks that must reach a certain standard, including user story breakdown, documentation and testing to ensure the quality of our deliverables.
We have been applying an agile approach in NS90 from the outset and we have found that it leads to clarity, cooperation, increased velocity in our teams, predictable delivery dates and less escalations and production issues, ensuring that we continuously produce software of a high standard.