Thursday, April 19, 2018

Being More Agile

The slow growing product team at Milyli is currently making the transition to full agile. For the most part, this has been a smooth process. As owners, we believe in agile and trust that the team will do their best to get to the features as fast as they can and that by having less process we will be getting more features at higher quality faster. No one asks, 'Yeah, but what features will be delivered eight sprints from now?'

The hardest adjustment has been for developers. As engineers that believe in delivering quality that have been working in a more waterfally environment, mostly due to demands of customers in a very traditional market, it can be difficult to say that a story is done when the UI is just an ugly row of numbers. Even when that data proves the system is doing what it's supposed to.

It's important to remind the team that an ugly UI is OK. The team wrote the code that implemented the feature as designed. The feature has a full suite of automatic tests, unit, integration and UI when feasible and applicable. We could deliver that story if necessary or desirable for some reason. 

We didn't polish the UI because we wanted the stakeholders to validate the behavior and maybe give some ideas for the UI now that there's a straw man to look at. If we had also completed the UI and the behavior was wrong, we'd likely need to redo the UI as well. 

We will polish the UI in the next iteration. It might not be perfect even then. It might not be perfect before the users see it. But we can get feedback fast, act on it immediately, and have a fully tested deliverable ready in no more than two weeks time.

And that's what agile is about.

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