February 25, 2016

Axosoft: The Art Form in Agile

Tania Katan (Brand Evangelist at Axosoft) and John Haley (Lead Developer and GitKraken Product Owner), were recent guests on our TechnologyAdvice podcast, B2B Nation.

In this episode, they share their thoughts on the evolution of agile project management, adoption of agile methodology, and some of their favorite projects that have resulted from being agile.

Here are some of the highlights from our conversation: 

1. The fundamentals of Agile haven’t changed much, but the processes certainly have.

“The agile process is more intimate; it can shift from team to team. What works for me might not work for you, so change and flexibility are the foundation. One of the core tenants of Agile is people before process. To really adopt that, you have to take an honest, critical look at everything you’re doing and be willing to modify process even if hurts or somebody might object to it. You’re doing it in response to what works for your team.”

2. The agile manifesto is what sets us in motion.

“You have a group of people who are radically changing how they create software, because they care about people, and they care about a collective idea and achieving it in the most creative and competent way. That’s the beginnings of the methodology as a manifesto. It invites constant change.

“You’re constantly managing what’s  happening now while anticipating what might happen next. That’s why Axosoft has ’30-Day Projects’ where our team is encouraged to disrupt our everyday patterns and work on a new project of our choosing. When we come back to our original tools and process,  we have new ideas.  In fact, that’s how GitKraken got started.

“We saw a lot of people in the industry adopting version control platforms, but very few understood how they worked. As soon as something messes up, you have no idea how to solve it. You have no idea how it happened, and you’re in a bad spot. When we adopted Git we definitely ran into that a lot. So for a 30-day project, we aimed to solve these problems with GitKraken. We incorporate the agile methodology into our entire corporate culture and process. Now we have this new product that would have never happened if we stuck to the original plan.”

3. Agile is begging us to change, grow, and adapt.

“Agile says, ‘We’ll write another solution if you don’t like the first.’ We’ve been able to create new features and a new tool that came out of one of our peripheral 30-day projects. These could be anything: software, hardware, a podcast. And what we got was GitKraken — a solution to a longstanding problem in the Git space. That’s Agile!”

4. Align your development projects with your corporate identity. 

“Companies and organizations might want to look at the tool they’re creating to see if it’s in alignment with who they are, and why they are. We talk about cross-functionality a lot in this space. We think about cross-functional people or teams working across departments, but at Axosoft, we hire people who are cross-functional in their DNA.When you are supported and celebrated for all of your skills and talents, then your culture, tools and company are able to come together in exquisite alignment.”

5. Agile can apply to every industry — not just IT. 

“When you’re talking about whether these things are applicable to other industries, I would say absolutely. Agile came from software and the technology industry because we needed something to keep up with the speed of innovation. You need to adapt to that environment. Other industries might not move as fast, and might deal in more abstract concepts (as opposed to software), but they can still benefit from the methodology. Software, in and of itself, isn’t really the end goal. The software’s supposed to work for you just as much as you work for it. It’s a dynamic relationship.”

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