Web projects move at a fast pace and so Agile development is a good way to incrementally deliver products with new features on a regular basis. On the web it is acceptable for products to be released early to derive some of the benefits of hearing customer feedback as well as analysing real data. Releasing the product early will help you to decide upon which new features will provide the greatest value to customers and should be included in the next release.
In agile, requirements evolve but timescale is often fixed. Trade off decisions are necessary, trading the existing scope for new. To add or change requirements the Product Owner needs to remove a comparable amount of work from the project scope to accommodate the change. This trading method helps the team to be able to stay focused on delivering on time and on quality. Working with Agile we are able to embrace change. However, for an agile development to function well, we need to make sure that we have created the right conditions. This means that we should work with a variable scope whilst the time and cost remain fixed.
The advantages of this iterative approach are:
- Reduce Risk – with clear, prioritised visibility of what the team should do
- Increased Value – derive benefits from data and customer feedback early on in the process
- More flexibility – adaptive and iterative approach
- Better cost management – with short prioritised sprints
With Agile, features are developed in a prioritised order, not necessarily in a logical order by function. If you work in the creative industry it is a good idea to have a discovery period covering primary and secondary research prior to a sprint zero. This should help culminate in a clear, concise, client aligned brief to be used to kick of sprint zero.
Sprint zero can provide the basis for defining :
- Creative vision
- Site structure
- Content mapping
- Brand guidelines
- SEO strategy
- Technical architecture
- Prioritisation of sprints
The time boxed sprints (typically 2 – 3 weeks) consist of sprint planning, design, development, review/retrospective. Collaborating with teams throughout the process via short stand up meetings (15 mins) will help to keep a good, close dialogue with everyone involved.