Going with agile was never about only implementing agile practices in the team. What was more important to us was to achieve business agility. With this objective in our mind, we started by identifying the possible end-results that would result in the organisation’s success. Soon, we identified our business goals and laid down an approach to measure our progress and that was known as August Kranti.
The August Kranti name itself had the immense power to regrow our team energy and unimaginable strength to deliver end results within a stipulated time period. What we did was bending agile to fit our team. Our course of action during this August Kranti are discussed below.
- Shipment of Features in Every 5 days
We started implementing on the most popular saying “Delivering the right product at the right time”. This could have impacted the quality, so a few conscious checks were put in place – code reviews were done in time and any feature that did not pass through code review was put on hold.
- Ensuring Test Cases Driven Development
The most difficult aspect of ensuring TDD is to keep up with the practice in every sprint. We wanted to implement TDD 100% . There was little hesitation in most of the developers when they were told to write the test cases first and then begin with the application codes but soon they began to understand the importance of writing a test based specification of the user story they are working.
However, we found that around 80% of the test cases were delivered to our quality assurance team before our developers started with their development. This was definitely a perfectly win- win situation for us as our developers started believing in the concept of Test Cases Driven Development.
- Squashing Away the QA issues along with the Development of New Features
Our next stand was on fixing the QA issues. We got answers to some of the questions that remain unanswered in the previous sprint.
a. Why were the developers taking it long to fix the issues?
b. How should the QA issues be treated along with the new features of the sprint?
There was long queue of QA issues and our SWAT team( that works on L4 issues reported by customers) was constantly engaged in resolving them in each sprint. However, the issues never ended. Soon, we understood that the quality of the software product cannot be credited to the testing team alone, it’s the responsibility of not one person or one team but a stride that should be achieved by everyone and should involve everyone in the organisation.
We decided to end the long queue of QA issues by prioritizing them by our quality assurance team.The test engineers played an important role in prioritizing the issues from time to time and the development team left no stone unturned in fixing them. The idea was clear to the team, we did not want to ruin our business commitments by overlooking the issues in the product that has to be delivered to our users. This way, the team came up a long way in producing a high quality software that is ready to get delivered to our customers.
- Building Trust & Faith in Team
One of the most important aspects of agile methodology is building trust in the team. We reminded ourselves that we have to include our Customer Success Managers and stakeholders in every sprint meetings. Customer Success Managers are the ones who directly come in touch with our customers. These were the best people to define the customer requirements from time to time. We needed their buy-in while grooming the product backlog items for the next sprint. For this, we had to inculcate the trust and faith within the team that their inputs will be fairly captured by our product team in every sprint.
All this time, we never moved away from the Scrum approach. In fact, it is the scrum approach of product delivery that has induced a new spirit in our team. And what we got to learn is that the elements which significantly drive the team’s success can be well estimated in time.
Our Business Goals were well achieved during the course of August Kranti and the POC status increased by 100% . Well, that definitely has a nice ting to it, isn’t it?