A major project like the development of Valluga, asks for an efficient working method. Which method offers the best results in every developmental stage? Validata came to the conclusion that the best results do not come from using one method but several. That is why choosing the right method for every phase is so important. Through Agile methods such as Kanban, Scrum or a combination of both, Valluga is currently taking shape.
The Agile method helps visualise complicated processes and creates clarity for every party involved.
An Agile working method promotes flexibility
‘We were looking for an ideal working method for the development of Valluga,’ says Bart Bijkerk (CTO/COO en Product Owner Valluga). ‘The Agile method helps visualise complicated processes and creates clarity for every party involved. We decided to use the Kanban method in the first phase. Kanban does not use any hard deadlines, which gave us more room for creativity in the researching phase. We could leave certain ideas for a while, further adjust them or come up with a strategic analysis.’
‘With the Kanban method, several stories are kept in a backlog before appearing in a to-do column. Here, a priority list shows which elements should be addressed first. These stories then move to the work-in-progress column, where the team can continue working on them to ultimately label them as done.’ These stories then move to the work-in-progress column, where the team can continue working on them to ultimately label them as done.’
‘As soon as the outlines of the application were visible and the foundation had been laid, we were ready for the second phase of the development process. By then it was clear which functionalities we wanted to add to the application, which is why we selected the more efficient Scrum method for this next phase.’
Efficient development with the Scrum method
Sarah Marijnen (Scrum Master) supports the Scrum Team to guide the development of Valluga in the right direction. A Scrum Master ensures that every step in a project is followed properly, that any problems are instantly solved and that everyone knows what to do and how.
‘I initiate the daily scrum in which team members answer questions like, “What’s the status since yesterday? What will I work on today? And do I need help with this?” In the weekly sprint planning meeting the bi-weekly sprint is filled with stories and the team members agree to meet their deadlines. In the refinements the stories are discussed, and more detail and structure are added. Finally, the team uses retrospectives to look back, evaluate and focus on improvement areas.’
The three pillars on which Valluga will be built
‘The development of Valluga is split into in three different phases:
1. Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Or, the data model that serves as the basis of Valluga. It consists of the elements that allow clients and candidates to go through a complete screening process faster and more efficiently; from registration to receiving a screening report. In this process, a successfully operating support team is crucial. Its role is also discussed in the first phase and leads the way to the second phase.
2. Minimum Lovable Product (MLP). Or, how clients as well as candidates experience Valluga. A great candidate experience not only leaves you feeling great, it also allows a screening process to go faster and more efficiently. A true win-win situation for all parties!
3. Nice-To-Haves. Or, which innovative solutions can we add to Valluga to make it even better and more customer friendly? These extras are the cherry on the cake.’
Keeping a finger on the pulse in every developmental stage
‘When developing applications and other IT solutions, it is important to keep a certain degree of flexibility,’ Bart adds. You can do this by continuously keeping a finger on the pulse and constantly checking if your working method matches the current phase. If this isn’t the case, another method will most likely bring better results.’
‘Why would you hold onto one working method if, at a certain point, it could start sabotaging your development? The method should serve the process and not the other way ‘round. Make sure the focus always lies on the content and not on the form. Always keep an eye on your objective. In our case, providing the perfect application.’ In our case, providing the perfect application.’