Agile: best practices and being done

The Agile manifesto and best practices video really hit home for me. Remember early on in class when we had all of those glorious ideas about what our websites were going to look it? I initially wanted to build a custom slideshow using JavaScript… and that clearly did not happen. It’s takes a lot of time to plan out and create a personal website, and being realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish in a given time period is critical.

I immediately thought of work while I was watching the Agile video. I work on a project management team that builds a variety of digital programs for various clients. One of the most difficult aspects is getting on the same page as the client, and delivering a product that they truly wanted in the first place. It’s a constant give and take between exceeding the client’s expectations and not going outside the statement of work (putting more time in than we are getting paid to do). The principles of Agile are key to ensuring you deliver a valuable product, on time and on budget.

One of the most intriguing best practices that Jay talked about in this video is how you should only have the team members who are working on the project provides the estimate. I could not agree with this more. At work, we are always running into issues with the sales manager promising things to clients that we simply cannot deliver.

At the end of the video, Jay talks about the definition of done, which takes me back to our class sites. While there is a shared opinion of what “done” means, Jay says that one of the core tenets of agile is that when the team declares the project done, it needs to be in a releasable state. I think this was the ultimate goal for class. Yes, we are never actually done with working on our personal sites — there’s always going to be content and customization to add — but having a site that is functioning and ready to launch means that we are DONE. And right now, that’s a good feeling.

Side note: I’m really happy we went through a critique phase for our sites. I appreciate all of the feedback I received! Getting user feedback is truly an important part of creating a website.


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