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What is Agile anyway?

Agile Scrum

Agile software development, project management and just Agile in general is used to explain a lot of different types of processes and tools, but what is it really? For most of us it's one particular methodology like Scrum, Lean, Kanban or XP, or maybe it's just the agile manifesto to you. Yes a manifesto sounds a bit dogmatic, but the reality is, Agile should be just what the name says, an adaptive and changing process that best fits your team and product.

In it's most simple form, agile is a backlog or list of things that need to get done, a group of people who can make time to get them done and way to evaluate doneness. The rest of the tools associated with it, like backlogs, roadmaps, standup meetings and scrums etc. are just artifacts of the process you choose that best fits your organization or team.

We actually use two different version of agile, as we have adopted it, at Buildly for a single implementation of the Buildly Core and services for a partner or customer. We start off with a very pragmatic approach to Kanban with Trello an integration partner with Buildly Insights. We create our Product Roadmap and Features (or Epics for the Agile purist) in Trello first, then import those into the Buildly Insights tool to share with the dev team for estimation, and prioritization. Then depending on the issue management tool we split those features into tickets or issues in our Kanban Product board available in Insights. We use the columns this way:

  • Sprint Ready - Prioritized top to bottom list of issues that need to be completed grouped by feature
  • Working or Doing - Assigned work that one or more team members have take on
  • Pull Request - For developers this means an issue is waiting for review from another developer
  • Done - Deployed to a development server

It's meant to be lean and fast and allows us to deploy code for review in simple versioned releases to a server for the customer and business team to provide feedback.

Then when we are post proof of concept or MVP, we move to a more standard sprint and release process. We add a few more steps for review and few more release planning segments that we use the Buildly Insights tools to automate for us, but for the most part it's still a lightweight framework that adapts to user feedback of the product and the process. So yeah, it's agile. If your interested in learning more please reach out or join the community. We are always looking for user feedback and what tools or processes we should integrate into our process as well as the Buildly Insights tool.