Before every big change lies the realization of a problem… or a bunch of problems. As we operated in the industry of web and mobile design and development, we accelerated both in the sheer volume of projects and in their depth.
We came close to delivering up to 30 solutions annually. And before things got weird, we made a tremendous executive effort to come up with a number of rules we call principles to carve our core beliefs in stone and develop our game to the point where we utilize a Japanese automobile manufacturer style production and emphasise design customization. So tune in for
Our 10 Principles Of Agile Development Process
1. Agile Development Process
We use multiple project management tools to run our product development in the most efficient way. Our main tool so far is called Jira and it unifies bug-tracking, issue-tracking, and project-management software features.
When working on a large project it’s easy to get entangled in the abundance of details if you have not been participating in it from the start or only dealt with your specific segment. Understanding the project ambience and the reasoning behind every implementation is important for the project’s consistency.
Our product development sprints are divided into features, features into user stories, user stories into tasks, and tasks are assigned to specific workers which helps execute tasks at their level while following the general product architecture principles.
2. Design Hand-off for effective development
With our in-house team of UI/UX designers, we emphasize transparency, delivery, and interaction of design mockups and prototypes. We came to understanding that clear and concise design prototype presentation guarantees better communication and effective transition to development. That’s why we use visual collaboration tools like ReltimeBoard and Zeplin.
Building visual user experience is a serious call out to the designer’s foresight and expanding it to the point where all the developers, QA engineers, PMs, and the owner themselves is the indicative of an effective workflow. This is why we do our best to amplify design hand-off iterations and illuminate the process.
3. Code Peer Review Tools
Most of code mistakes and discrepancies can be tracked out and fixed at the early stages of development. One of the common practices in software development is code review conducted within the company. There is a number of benefits to do it:
- Early debugging.
- The code stays in the company.
- Developers can learn from each other.
- Teamwork taken to another level.
- “Truth is sprout in discussion.”
4. Time Tracking Principles
One of the core principles of our work is transparency in results and processes. We’ve used multiple tools to establish the company policy of time and progress tracking. The powerful combination we came to is Jira + TimeDoctor. Jira provides perfect opportunities for task management through clear and simple UI that most of our clients have no problem using. The only thing it lacks is a native, intuitive, and powerful tool to track time on tasks. That’s where TimeDoctor kicks in and really makes it a perfect combo.
Jira provides perfect opportunities for task management through clear and simple UI that most of our clients have no problem using.
5. Stage Environment QA
Testing the product in the context of reality is perhaps the most important checkout process. Staging environment allows maximum simulation of the web or mobile app operation. It involves weird-angle usage, all sorts of unpredictable actions and unusual behavior, as well as extensive core functional testing. It’s important that a QA team has access to the fully-operative copy of the product including the data. This means no slack on testing is allowed and the deadlines are met.
6. Straight-line Communication
One of the fears that most product owners face when considering remote development is the fear of bad communication. This applies to everything: cultural differences, time zones, language barriers, and what not.
We opened up on this extensively in one of our recent blog posts. All these fears don’t count when managed right. We use a bunch of tools to reinforce seamless communication between the project management, owner, and execution team – from Slack, to real-time mockup discussions in RealtimeBoard. We arrange the communication in such a fashion, that it does not appear to be a separate issue, basically, it is invisible. This is one of the signature traits of the ETM engagement and we make sure we stand to it.
7. Responsible Deployment application
Deployment is all the activities that make an application available for use. These can be the beta testing version deployment, bug-fixes, updates, and so on. A recent trend of automated deployment has gotten popular among some digital agencies.
We are not of that kind. We believe in the deployment by responsible human being. An incomplete feature or a mistake in the data committed automatically can become the real pain in the neck for those about to fix it. All sorts of unexpected results brought by the automatic deployment mechanism can be avoided easily. The vulnerability of automated deployment is not worth the time it saves. Manual responsible deployment in its turn is reliable and fast.
8. Weekly Project Manager Reports
Some features take a while to develop and the progress of its development can’t be measured in three stages. The current progress with such features is thus discussed weekly. The reports are done by our PMs directly to the product owner. The overlordship is important, but does not always require deep technical explanations.
We request the preferable data for reports from our clients to make sure we present the valuable and relevant information.
9. Progress Tracking in results and processes
One of the core principles of our work is transparency in results and processes. We’ve used multiple tools to establish the company policy of time and progress tracking. The powerful combination we came to is Jira + TimeDoctor.
TimeDoctor is a great tool to track progress following the estimated sprints. As an extended team, we operate on complete engagement in the client’s workflow.
10. Maintenance & Clients Support
One of the attributes of our company that we are proud of is the returning customers rate. Today it’s over 60%. This means, successful startup owners sell our products and move on to the next one and they trust us enough to repeat the circle again and again.
One of the factors that contribute to the returning customer rate is support. We don’t just deliver the product, sign off, and gone, occasionally returning to debug. We stay with it, tweak it, come up with new ideas to improve, and make sure our products retain viability and reach further.