“Agile” was a term I associated directly with athletics when I began my internship at LevelTen. Growing up, I always heard football announcers describe running backs like Barry Sanders as agile, fawning over their quick reflexes and creativity. Now that I have become more familiar with the agile process, its time to put together an “Agile 101” guide for those who don’t know what interactive agencies mean when they use the term. We are coming up on the 2010 NFL Draft, so here is a guide that combines my previous understanding of football agility with the new methodology and techniques I have learned.
What is Agile Development?Agile is an all-encompassing term for software methodologies that depart from traditional, fixed-bid waterfall development. Firms and agencies use Agile to complete projects at a desirable quality and price for customers. LevelTen uses the “scrum” method (I’ll explain more about scrum in a minute), underneath the Agile umbrella, to complete tasks and review projects during a “sprint” (1-4 week time period for development). I like to think of the Agile process as a recurring summer training camp of sorts. Training camp is about a month long (on the long side for a sprint, but still), has a learning curve, requires a “feeling out” process among members of the team and is crucial to the success or failure of a season. During an agile sprint, different tasks are assigned to the specialty areas that will accomplish them best. This is comparable to a cohesive team breaking up into groups and practicing positional drills.
What is a Scrum?A Scrum is a daily meeting that functions to increase productivity and reduce the amount of the time that workers are impeded by problems that arise. Scrums consist of team members answering three questions:
- ° What have you done during the last 24 hours?
- ° What do you plan to do in the next 24 hours?
- ° What’s stopping you getting on with the work of the next 24 hours (or what is impeded)?