Agile Practices: A New Way of Doing


Early in 2001, a group of programmers met in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah to discuss ways to improve software development. The 17 participants knew that a different approach was needed as the new economy of e-business, e-commerce, and the web was developing. They gathered to think about ways to improve the traditional “fixed” organizational structures that companies had been using to develop software. This group recognized that they identifying different and exciting ways to create, collaborate, and improve processes that would result in more adaptable environments to work in and complete projects. The result of this two-day workshop was the creation of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the age of Agile Practices was born.

What is Agile?

There are many ways to describe Agile Practices. According to the Agile Alliance, Agile Practices are, “thinking through how you can understand what’s going on in an environment that you’re in today, identify what uncertainty you’re facing, and figure out how you can adapt to that as you go along.”

What was originally meant for software development has now become a methodology that permeates throughout the entire company impacting sales, human resources, marketing, operations, and management. Unlike the traditional top-down management style, Agile Practices recognize the need to inspire those doing the work to accelerate innovation and add genuine value to customers. To be agile in an organization means that the key to success is not to do more work faster. The key is to be smarter by generating more value from less work and delivering it sooner.

The Benefits of Transformation

Burwood Group has taken part in this transformation. Our leadership has recognized the demand for increasing responsiveness to changing requirements and priorities. Our work groups are moving towards more collaborative approaches to problem solving, both internally and with our customers. We utilize small, cross-functional teams that are more visible and transparent resulting in increased value to the customer in a shorter amount of time. The Burwood Agile toolset incorporates technologies for task management, collaboration, service ticketing, and video collaboration. Through this transformation, Burwood Group can innovate rapidly, staying ahead of the market and solving customer problems far quicker than others.

At Burwood, our DevOps team utilizes Scrum, one of the more common Agile methodologies, to manage work and the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). Working in one-week sprints, our teams build software features and fixes in weekly iterations, working with customers and stakeholders to review priorities and provide feedback each week. This allows us to rapidly respond to changing requirements, or urgent requests from customers, without having a snowball impact on other deliverables, all the while maintaining a long-term product roadmap.

How did we go about implementing Agile Practices? Tune in next week to learn how!

April 2, 2019