When the world asks you to be fast. Agile as today’s mainstream | First Line Software

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Natalia Voronko, Professional Scrum Master and First Line Software program manager speaks about demonstrating a progressive attitude in development and agile methodologies.

The primary business requirement now is to get everything completed fast. The fast appearance of a product – at least in its minimal version; then rapid expansion of the product with added functionality, and quick response to emerging market demands. There is no time for long approval processes and long planning windows – it is much more important to be able to do work quickly and make changes quickly if it does not fit. This is why Agile appeared long ago. Now, when massive digitalization is in progress and the ability for dynamic orientation is the priority, no wonder it is Agile which has become mainstream.

We are an IT services company. Most of our projects are run using Scrum – one of the frameworks for enabling business agility. Scrum assists developers in writing high quality software, gives a boost to the development process and allows for flexible revision and reworking of plans.

Thanks to the influence of Scrum, today’s development process better meets the client’s business needs; the project participants get a feeling of greater involvement and develop their creative skills for the best possible quality of the product, and the development process becomes completely transparent for the client. There are no needless formalities in Scrum.

Scrum is not a synthetic fabrication. This framework was based on experiences with live projects.  Its three backbones are transparency (all processes are equally open for both developers and clients), inspection (we keep reviewing our work), and adaptation   (i.e., we continuously adjust to evolving market demands). It is important with Scrum to have close and direct cooperation with the client at all stages. Scrum is especially useful for the projects where a system can develop repeatedly.

Scrum first appeared under the influence of the success of Toyota’s (Toyota Production System, or TPS) product development system. The Scrum process was first described in an article by Jeff Sutherland and Ken Schwaber that was written for a conference in 1995. Scrum strives to make sure the development team regularly delivers code which has actual value for business, thus minimizing the risks and increasing ROI.

Of course, we are not limited by Scrum only at First Line Software. For instance, we also use Kanban which perfectly fits startups and supports projects. We are aware of many approaches and understand what they are needed for and when they are applicable, which means we can customize work arrangements to client needs. 

It is important to remember that Agile is an umbrella notion. Agile includes Scrum, which is the framework for running agile projects, as well as XP (a set of engineering practices), Lean – optimization techniques, and the more rigid and formal DSDM, plus a number of other approaches that are less known.

First Line Software has employed agile methods since the time of its foundation. Moreover, First Line Software became the world’s first vendor to pass Scrum Capability Assessment program and was recognized with Scrum Capability Medallion awarded by Jeff Sutherland, an inventor of the Scrum software development process.

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