Working with a well-defined product development process resulting in a successful product, and working with an experienced team on how to work and apply this process is a major for your product success. Now, let's see the the product development life cycle.
A product plan is kicked off with a discovery and market validation phase where we frame the idea, understand the customers and users, envision a solution that’s valuable, then minimize and plan a solution that is feasible with the tools we have and within the required time frame.
The discovery phase includes collaboration with the UX design team where we go through the design process to come up with the optimum design for the problem we’re solving. The deliverables in this phase contain:
•An executive summary: which is a one page document containing an outline of the features and why we’re doing them
•A stakeholder map
•A list of user personas
•A user flow diagram
•A product roadmap
•A user journey map
•A low-fidelity wireframe
•A high-fidelity wireframe
•An interactive prototype
Start the development process where we kick off by holding a workshop to establish what we’re going to build, how we’re going to build it and why. Applying Scrum, we work iteratively in sprints and we use Jira as our project management platform. We start by holding a workshop for user story writing and then have a sprint kickoff meeting to start the sprint, have regular standups, a retrospective meeting once the sprint is done as well as a stakeholder product review and repeat the process with following sprints/iterations.
Working Agile at Rubikal
Agile project management is designed specifically around software development. It’s best suited for fast-paced and dynamic environments which can benefit from working in a flexible and iterative manner.
Agile has been a life-changing way for us to work. It’s proven to be the most efficient way to get things done. Concentrating on what we can achieve during a specific one-week or two-week period gives everyone on our team achievable goals. It creates a sense of urgency, forcing us to make smart decisions to reach our goals. It also gives an individual contributor the incredible feeling of accomplishment when they mark their tasks as “done” and see the whole week turn green. This boosts team’s motivation to start the next week fresh and tackle a new set of goals.
Anatomy of a Scrum Sprint
“Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion” — Parkinson's law
With Scrum, we break down big, complex projects into manageable pieces on which we serially iterate on. A sprint is a recurring time frame in which the design, development, testing, and review of those small pieces. A minor release is launched at the end of every sprint. This way, we guarantee a steady pace of product updates out to users.
A scrum board is where the magic happens. It overlays the product as a list of stories, with priorities, stored in a backlog. A sprint planning is one venue where stories are moved from the backlog to the particular sprint’s backlog. That’s where stories are broken down, estimated, assigned to a team member. Once a sprint capacity is reached, the sprint is started with a relevant sprint goal.
A typical product engineering team would include backend, frontend, and mobile engineering members depending on the product scope. Quality control analysts are essential in our team setup. QC guarantees quality of the shipped work on a sprint to sprint basis. Finally, a project manager whose responsibility is to glue the different disciplines into one solid entity working towards a goal, which is a shippable product as fast and as good as possible.
While the product engineering team is building the features in a sprint, QC is analyzing the stories/features and coming up with meaningful test scenarios that need to pass in order to consider a certain feature is done. A feature is considered done if (and only if) it passed the QC test plan.
Towards the end of a sprint, stories which passed QC analysis are deployed and a new increment of the product is shipped with the new features included. This process is repeated until a final version of the product is attained.
Agile Ceremonies Demystified
The venue where a sprint plan and a sprint goal are set. It’s attended by the entire team, including project and product managers. A prerequisite to that meeting is a prioritized product backlog. Whose items are discussed with the development team, and the group collectively estimates the effort involved. The product engineering team will then make a sprint forecast outlining how much work the team can complete from the product backlog. That body of work then becomes the sprint backlog. It typically takes somewhere between and hour and two hours depending on the sprint length.
A standup is where everyone communicates their status, or any blockers they might be having. The goal of this meeting is for everyone to stay in sync, while implicitly adding a sense of accountability among team members.
It typically takes no more than 15 minutes.
The purpose of this meeting is to get rapid feedback to make the product and development culture better. Retrospectives help the team understand what worked well and what didn't.
Here is a video explaining Agile process:
We at Rubikal apply a text book Scrum and Agile process and that helped us deliver products faster with a high quality code, if you have a project in mind and want to start please reach out to us now!
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