Agile Methodologies — the Alpha & Omega of Modern Project Organization

As the main pillar of efficient product development, agility has become one of our most important principles. Learn more about agile methods & frameworks and how we use them at Parkside.

At Parkside, it is our highest priority to provide our clients with continuous delivery of valuable software as early as possible. Even if that entails changing requirements at a later stage, this can be easily handled with agile methodologies. They enable faster and easier delivery and the possibility of changing priorities of requirements throughout the project.

Why we develop agile

While working with our clients over the last 15 years we have experienced quite often why an agile development approach is the best thing for them and their product. It is a reflection of the reality of product development: Hardly any product can be fully conceived from head to toe at the very beginning, nor can its costs be estimated right away.

Only as the product takes shape and specifications materialize can its actual development effort be gauged. Iterative investments with an agile framework instead of fixed prices, therefore, allow our clients to save great sums when discovering that a product cannot be realized with its initial concept.

Empirical measurements are the basis of all planning

Our most important goal above all has always been to assemble self-managing and cross-functional teams to reduce organizational overhead as much as possible. Furthermore, we firmly believe that effort estimations and forecasts are more realistic when they are based on empirical measurements. This is why the value of reference requirements (reference user stories) and metrics like team velocity, lead time and cycle time are crucial for all our planning and estimation efforts.

Our agile methodologies and tools

We are used to working with a variety of frameworks adapted to the exact needs and requirements of our client’s project.

01

Scrum

Scrum is no doubt among the most famous of agile methodologies. A key role in Scrum is the Product Owner who represents the client with all his visions, ideas, and needs within the Scrum team. In the review meeting with the client at the end of a sprint, we inspect the product increment in the form of recently implemented features. This informal meeting is an opportunity for clients to see a live demo of what has been worked on. We aim to get feedback as early as possible and adapt to the next features and priorities. 

02

Kanban

Kanban has its origin in Japanese production and aims to optimize work item flow and reduce waste like waiting time. Kanban provides maximum flexibility for implementing work packages in unstable environments. While one of our developers picks the most important work package to implement, the next work item on the board can still be modified or replaced by another. This allows the instant reaction to frequently changing conditions and environments.

03

Scaled Agile Framework: SAFe

The scaled agile framework (SAFe) is a popular, well-designed framework for joining development forces within bigger companies. In comparison to Scrum, there are plenty of additional roles on different flight levels. In the so-called PI Planning meetings, all development teams of an agile release train (ART) are aligned to go in the right direction and follow the customer’s vision of the product. Our experience with PI Planning meetings allows us to contribute to the client’s vision with one or even more development teams.

04

Large Scale Scrum: LESS

Large Scale Scrum is simply what its name says: a way to scale Scrum. Compared to SAFe, there are no significant additional roles or meetings. The Product Owner (PO) role still owns the product. To avoid one PO being overloaded with too many teams,  a team of POs works together and splits its responsibilities into different areas. These POs are called Area Product Owners (APO). We are ready to be part of your scaling-up process by supporting you with one or even more self-managed scrum teams.

05

Agile contracting

Agile contracting is a way for us to negotiate an agreement with the client before the start of the project while also giving them the possibility to change requirements throughout the implementation. Once we get an idea of our customer’s vision for his product through workshops or other means, we draw up a detailed effort and cost estimation. We then reach a Master Service Agreement (MSA) that specifies our cooperation as a whole including rates, billing method and other relevant conditions. The MSA clearly explains, in which way the customer can change requirements even when the implementation has already started.

Our approach to working agile

Our most important goal above all has always been to assemble self-managing and cross-functional teams to reduce organizational overhead as much as possible. Furthermore, we firmly believe that effort estimations and forecasts are more realistic when they are based on empirical measurements. This is why the value of reference requirements (reference user stories) and metrics like team velocity, lead time and cycle time are crucial for all our planning and estimation efforts.

Read more about our approach to software development

Quality Assurance — for Software that Stands the Test of Time
DevOps — Building operational excellence

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