The beginning of interest in Agile in Komix dates back to 2007 when two of our colleagues, Petr Sobotka and Jiri Marschal, using their experience with the first and very demanding stage of the CDBP project (biometric passports), in line with the saying “every cloud has a silver lining”, started to seek ways how to approach the implementation of projects “in a new way”, meaning in a way different to the traditional waterfall project management.
While searching for alternative ways they came across the agile methods that were spreading round the globe at that time. They have gathered the available information and shared their knowledge of these techniques with other colleagues. Back then, selected agile techniques started to be applied gradually in projects (some of which may still have appeared as waterfall model projects on the outside) untill tools such as: internal iterative development, continuous testing, daily meetings, retrospectives, and other tools became an integral part of work of the „progressive“ teams in Komix.
In the course of time, some of the internal development activities in particular, were adapted into a fully agile regime. Eventually, the widely-used and highly beneficial agile techniques were implemented as an integral part of teamwork on most of the customers’ projects.
We use the Scrum framework in most cases of agile development. In exceptional cases, it is instead possible to switch to Kanban variety for a short time.
For the development of large projects requiring coordination and integration of two or more development teams we use the LeSS method internally.
For large-scale projects, we use scaling framework according to the customer’s choice. We prefer LeSS Framework scaling method. In cases of some customers we use SaFE® framework at their own request.
Four years ago, we successfully bidded for a project to completely rewrite an outdated application. The request was not an easy one and even more complicated was to put a price on such a complete redesign and set out a timetable for it. Therefore, we suggested introduction of agile development instead of the traditional waterfall approach the customer was used to.
Applying the new approach enabled us to rewrite the application gradually, one step at a time, allowing the client to have his say in the development process and decide whether the functionality under development suited his needs or if some functions needed to be adjusted, added or completely removed.
Using the traditional waterfall model approach would have implied spending months on writing an in-depth analysis and every possible request for change would have brought extrawork, changing of contract terms and increase in the price of the end product. Switching to agile development takes a while, it is necessary to build a strong team able to communicate effectively and properly and to persuade the customer and gain his trust. But if the transition is successful agile development brings a lot of benefits:
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