Rapid Evolution describes our approach to software development: a controlled series of sprints which incrementally delivers high quality software which can be demonstrated to stakeholders and which forms the basis of a deployable release.
With a two-week sprint cycle, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. We use agile release trains to help stakeholders conceptualize what’s planned for inclusion in the next release. A typical release train is made up of four sprints, with the final sprint sometimes being a ‘hardening’ sprint focusing on integration testing and fixing. Typically each agile release train creates a deployable release.
The most popular agile framework is Scrum, and we follow Scrum best practice. However, Rapid Evolution can readily accommodate other frameworks. Similarly, we ensure our teams use appropriate modern coding and testing techniques. We are technology agnostic and agile evolved can be used to build applications on any platform, on premise, hosted or in the cloud.
Visibility of progress is crucial to stakeholder engagement and to retain the confidence of project sponsors. Sprint reviews go some way towards achieving this, but to encourage greater stakeholder involvement we introduce the concept of a ‘daily buffet’, where the development team is available over lunch to demonstrate the application as it evolves. This also helps stakeholders understand project velocity.
Transparency also extends to estimating. We estimate on an ‘open book’ basis as we recognize stakeholders need some sense of the cost of features to make decisions about what to include in any given release. To maintain flexibility without increasing costs we support the idea of ‘exchanging’ functionality, adding in new or more complex functionality by swapping out other functionality not yet developed.
This means we can configure agile evolved to deliver projects on a fixed price basis when corporate governance mandates strict adherence to budget.