One of our brand pillars at Katabat is Process-Driven Speed. Ok—speed sounds good, especially to our clients. But what does it mean for the speed to be “Process-Driven?”
A few years ago Katabat decided to make some changes to our process of developing, testing, and deploying software. (You can read more about it in our CTO’s blog post.) We moved from a traditional, “waterfall” approach for development to an agile methodology.
Probably everyone has seen the classic tree swing cartoon about project management. There’s a reason that versions of that cartoon have been making the rounds for half a century: it is so spot on. Traditional project management has some predictable weaknesses, like the difference between the requirements gathered for the project and what the customer really wanted.
Agile for Our Clients
To get a better alignment between the requirements, what’s delivered, and what was actually wanted, you have to shrink the feedback cycle. Instead of months of development followed by a month of QA testing, agile methodologies lay out a framework for developing and testing a discrete chunk of the project. Katabat uses Scrum, like many organizations that operate in agile. So that usually means conceptualizing projects in two-week sprints.
After the two-week period, you go right to the client for feedback. It’s a great opportunity to catch things quickly, improve the requirements and acceptance criteria, and iterate. The client needs to be involved more often, but products can get delivered in a quick timeframe at a higher quality. Instead of client concerns showing up in User Acceptance Testing (UAT) at the end of the development cycle, we’ve caught and addressed changes early, when it was easy and inexpensive to do so.
In other words, our choices about the process of software development and testing drive our new, rewarding speed.
Agile for Us
Switching to an agile methodology isn’t only about delivering the best results for our clients, quickly. It’s also rewarding for the broader Katabat team. My perspective comes from a Project Management background, so that’s how I tend to conceptualize agile. Having defined goals and a good feedback loop with the client ensures measurable progress and allows the team to see our work is valued. Agile also allows us to be nimble and restructure priorities, based on the rhythms of the two-week sprints.
Everyone here at Katabat has seen the benefits of “going agile” first-hand. Delivering high-quality results with process-driven speed translates to satisfied clients who are using our software to the fullest potential, and that feels great to all who contributed!
I would definitely recommend agile to any small- to mid-sized organization. For large organizations, it’s initially more complex and challenging to implement, but they can achieve similar results by partnering with smaller agile vendors. That’s the route our big-bank clients have gone, and their CTOs are very familiar by now with how we work—increased speed and collaboration, as well as the excellent results we deliver.
For more info on agile methodologies or our agile process, contact me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.