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Working with an Agile Driven Agency


04 Nov 2020 • 5 min read

What to expect from working with Certified Scrum Professionals and Certified Scrum Product Owners

Innerworks is coming soon...

This blog was originally published on our previous Cogworks blog page. The Cogworks Blog is in the process of evolving into Innerworks, our new community-driven tech blog. With Innerworks, we aim to provide a space for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and connection within the wider tech community. Watch this space for Innerworks updates, but don't worry - you'll still be able to access content from the original Cogworks Blog if you want. 

If you're reading this, then you're probably interested in the benefits of hiring an experienced Agile agency. Or perhaps you are wondering how methodology might improve our products? 


Let's start with Agile.

"What is the definition of Agile?". We're asking Google over 1000 times per month as the popularity of this project management method rises, and whilst there is a load of great explanations, the Oxford Dictionary sums it up well: to be 'able to think quickly and in an intelligent way.' 

If you think about your products - how do you want them to be delivered? Probably in a quick, easy, and smart way. Easy delivery doesn't necessarily mean that the product is simple! It means that you don't need to feel the pain points whilst producing it. So, how do we go about creating a great product? And most of all - why Agile?

According to the Project Management Institute's (PMI) Pulse of the Profession 2017 (which I encourage you to read), '71 per cent of organisations use Agile approaches for their projects sometimes, often, or always.

Agile is widely embraced by companies and organisations that value a more flexible approach to project delivery. 


Agile is the key to project success

The key to Agile project success is through being engaged in building your product. Working in an Agile environment means gone are the days where we state all requirements upfront, have business analysts create huge documents, then pass the project on to the developers, only to get a product two years later that no longer reflects the current market, business, or users.

Agile encourages active conversations during the project period. A conversation is so simple yet so powerful. Communication will help you meet the business goals and create something that users will love. 


Communication reduces waste. 

How many times in the past have you developed something that was never used? Or decided to close the project as its business goal was no longer valid (after investing in months of work and loads of cash)?

How much money did you lose because of the lack of reaction to the changing environment? And here's the most important question: if you could have changed the requirements, priorities or specifications at the time when change was happening around you - would you have been more successful?

An Agile approach guides you on the path to success, which might mean failing early and learning from mistakes (ones that are not painful to fix or costly).

Agile teams deliver small parts of working and fully tested applications. You won't get a whole product at once, but rather, get smaller chunks of it more often. You have unlimited access to your product backlog to change your requirements, prioritise them, and make sure your product has the features that are needed. And you have an experienced Agile professional who will help and support you!

Introducing Scrum.

Another term that you may have come across in relation to Agile is Scrum, a subset of Agile and a framework for Agile development. But why Scrum? According to the Scrum Alliance, 'the overall success rate of projects delivered using Scrum is 62%'. If you'd like to read more, you can read the full report on the Scrum Alliance website.


What can you expect from a Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)?

-  Experience. At least three years of professional Agile experience, serving as a Scrum Master and/or Scrum Product Owner (with a certification to go with it)

- Knowledge. The CSP certification is a very involved process that requires practitioners to constantly improve their skills and be up-to-date with new knowledge in their field. Many CSPs run events or host coaching sessions in order to facilitate knowledge sharing within the community. The CSP is an experienced and active Agile practitioner who leads by exemplifying the Scrum values of focus, courage, openness, commitment and respect. 


What can you expect from a Certified Scrum Product Owner?

- Passion for your vision. The CSPO* works with all stakeholders to define requirements and to prioritise the backlog accordingly. We have seven CSPOs that work to establish a high-level vision and understand the goals of the business in order to maximise the ROI for the project within the set budget. The CSPO will assess features and functionalities at the end of each Sprint in order to align with business values. 


What can you expect from the Cogworks team?

- Agile experts. Our Project Management team consists of Agile practitioners who also specialise in particular frameworks. Some work with Kanban and others work with Lean. If you are looking for an XP who is passionate, we even have those! And, of course, Scrum is a particular favourite. We have one Certified Scrum Professional, seven Certified Product Owners, and a stellar track record for delivering successful projects.

- Advice, coaching and help. Cogworks values a friendly environment where commitment to the delivery of great products is a priority. We keep up with the latest techniques by participating in the Project Management Institute and regular Project Management and Agile meetups. 

Learn more.

If you are new to Agile and want to learn more about Scrum, I can't recommend Mike Cohn's and Mountain Goat Software blogs. It is full of wonderful material to help you get started. Just be careful, because you can spend days reading it.

If you're not sure whether Agile works for you, get in touch using the form below to see how Agile can help you achieve your business objectives. 

*A Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) is typically a more business-facing person on a Scrum Team.

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