ClickThrough Marketing’s web development team is improving efficiency with the implementation of an Agile work methodology, blazing a trail in terms of web development best practice.
The team, led by director of web development, Alan Rowe, has been trialling the new system for a few weeks now and already the benefits are being felt, with the team’s working day now streamlined, and daily ‘huddles’ providing a quick recap and brainstorming session.
Agile is a work flow process that gives a rigid structure to the day. It is broken down into four manifestos:
Responding to change over Following a plan
Individuals and interactions over Processes and tools
Working software over Comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over Contract negotiation
Agile Project Management
Agile promotes a project management process with frequent inspection and adaptation at its core. It encourages teamwork, self-organisation and accountability. ClickThrough works with a task management tool that offers built-in boards so that clients and the team are able to see the status of tasks in real time.
Phil Cook, senior web developer, explains the benefits:
Together with the project lead, the client can look at the backlog of tasks and prioritise where needed so we are flexible and reactive to work on tasks that become higher priority for a client. Visibility is also a key point as all tasks and progress is clear to clients and colleagues. This leads to more open and honest communication.
Getting the Basics Right First
Central to the work ethos is determining the minimum viable product (MVP) of each web project. Put simply, the focus is on building a new website developed with sufficient features to satisfy users, while final features and design only come into play once the most basic building blocks of the project have been tested and found to work.
The ClickThrough web development team now works in two-week ‘sprints’ with time allocated to clients and internal work throughout the fortnight. The idea is to spread the workload evenly, with everyone doing a bit of everything. This maximises on productivity and minimises on risks associated with staff leave or illness.
There are many benefits to the web development team, as Phil explains: “The benefits for the team is that we are more in control of our own destiny, each member’s opinion is valid and we will continue to improve these processes as a team. We can get really detailed technical tasks that we need to be able to complete the job while also involving clients and educating them on the process we have to go through to deliver a website.”
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