Faster delivery.  Greater accuracy.  Lower risk.  Modern look and feel.  Sharper focus on what our customers need and expect from us.  Earlier this year, these and other goals led to E2G’s implementation of an Agile software delivery strategy.

Agile is a lightweight development framework and the chosen strategy for more than 90% of all new software initiatives.  Created by eighteen senior engineers in 2001, Agile beats the old way of building products.

Too often, teams guessed what customers wanted.  Testing was left until the very end, resulting in significant defects that were often ignored or delayed because the product had already taken so long to deliver.  Working in isolation, developers built features and functionality, hoping:

  • The product had the most important features (it usually didn’t)
  • The product worked (it usually didn’t)
  • Customers would like it (they usually didn’t)

Agile changes all of this.  Teams focus first on learning exactly what customers need, then collaborate to visualize the fastest, most sensible way to deliver it.  Working in two-week iterations called “sprints,” they immediately test what they’ve built.  The goal?

  • Build the right thing
  • Build the right thing right

Teams are finding new ways to solve problems, partly as the result of increased conversation and collaboration.  Agile Product Owners create and manage prioritized product backlogs that foster better decisions regarding how our customers use our products to solve complex problems.  Software development teams incorporate test-driven development (TDD) strategies to improve code quality.  Quality Assurance (QA) writes automated tests to ensure what’s been built meets the acceptance criteria for user functionality. User Experience (UX) designs the modern look and feel our products need.

The Agile framework also includes simple, visual ways of obtaining a rough-cut look at the future to see what’s possible in how and when products release.  In the meantime, each sprint, teams gather to give feedback on how to improve the entire process, letting others know what works well (and what doesn’t).

We think Agile is the smartest way to work.  In just a few months, E2G has already transformed how we think about our customers and our products.  Yet, there’s always more to learn and do as we improve product quality and customer relationships.

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