Welcome, reader. Our names are Adam and Shane. We’re part of the Agile Coaching team here at BookingGo.
As part of our agile adventure – which began in 2016 – we are committed to learning from the four original values set out in the Agile Manifesto (2001):
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan.
That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.
What we have found to be a powerful statement is the very first line of the manifesto, which others may miss:
- We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.
We aspire to a culture of curiosity, learning and sharing – traits that need to be at the heart of many decisions made here at BookingGo. From organising internal show and tells, to encouraging organic guilds, inviting external speakers, and writing this very blog, we’re doing all we can to help others discover better ways of developing software – not just keeping our discoveries to ourselves. We’ve learnt a lot along the way… from the mistakes as well as the wins.
As agile coaches at BookingGo, our mission is:
To help teams discover better ways of working to enable customer value
Each team chooses the software-delivery framework or methodology that best suits their needs. Typically, you would see either Kanban or Scrum in use. Some teams then sprinkle in elements of Extreme Programming (XP), such as user stories, pair programming or test-driven development.
If these names are new to you, here’s a high-level overview:
- Kanban is a method for visualising the flow of work to balance demand with available capacity, and to spot bottlenecks. There is a real focus within Kanban on limiting the amount of work in progress at any one time and ensuring that all processes are explicit.
- Scrum is a framework for iterative software development that focuses on time-boxed sprint cycles to deliver value. The sprint cycle creates routine, which is intended to build discipline, allowing teams to focus on the fun stuff. This seventeen-page guide gives you everything you need to get started.
- Extreme Programming (XP) is a software-development methodology intended to improve software quality and responsiveness to changing customer requirements. Its best-known practices are user stories, pair programming, test-driven development, continuous integration, spikes, and the constant availability of the customer. XP has been called “stress-free” and “humane” development.
Letting each team choose what works best for them is part of our drive for autonomous teams that are self-organising and prioritise the delivery of continuous value. These three agile principles say it best:
- Build projects (products) around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organising teams.
Regardless of the framework or methodology used by a team, they are always looking to continuously improve. Many teams will hold regular retrospectives to inspect how everything is going and look for opportunities to experiment and learn.
In future blogs, we’ll explore areas such as our new agile induction for all staff, what Agile Coaching is at BookingGo, our team maturity model, and our exploration of the power of continuous improvement.