Everybody Wins: Scrum, Feedback and Avoiding the 7-Car Pileup

Josh Anderson, VP Product Development

Last month Shawn stressed the importance of developing and maintaining a strong partnership between our employees and partners. In this article, I will explain how that partnership enables product development teams to excel. After all, when a product development team builds a strong partnership with their customers, everybody wins.

 

At Broadvine, we pride ourselves on our ability to learn crazy-fast; however, learning and understanding the technologies and processes of how to build great software is NOT the most important thing our engineers learn.  The most important thing for us to understand is your business. We can build the world’s coolest product, but if it doesn’t solve your problem, then we missed the mark.

 

To support “crazy-fast” learning, we have implemented a software development process known as Scrum, an iterative approach to building products that enables continuous improvement through continuous feedback. The iterative approach allows teams to make the small, and sometimes not-so-small, adjustments needed to deliver the most important things for their customers.  A key component to our success is short feedback loops. Everything we do is fast, and each step has built-in feedback mechanisms that power our priorities for the next iteration of work.

 

An analogy I often use to explain the value of our process is that Scrum transforms what would normally be a seven-car pileup into a handful of fender-benders. You still may have a small crash here or there, but no one gets hurt and everyone gets to their destination without too much trouble. Continuous feedback and adjustment enables each car to swerve at just the right time, in just the right direction, to prevent that pileup.

 

Where We Are

Our new processes are in place and we are automating everything we touch. To get those fast feedback loops I mentioned above, you must have automation to help speed things along. Computers are REALLY good at doing the same tasks over and over and we lean on that for our success.  Anything we do more than once now gets automated.

 

The second big change we made is around how we manage and prioritize our work.  The Scrum framework described above provides 20 years of experience and knowledge around how to make that happen.  Having those priorities clearly defined, visible to all employees, and continuously updated enables our teams to maintain focus on the most important tasks at hand.

 

Lastly, we reshaped our culture into one that values and focuses on continuous improvement.  Again, thanks to iteration and fantastic feedback loops, we collect tons of information on everything we do.  Lots of companies collect tons of data, but what do they do with it? We separate ourselves from the pack by actually doing something with our data!  Our culture and processes use that information to enable improvement every day.

 

How does all of this change help?  Each improvement was put in place to increase the quality of the products we build for you.

 

#UpAndToTheRight  

Our new hashtag #UpAndToTheRight was inspired by our desire for the performance charts of our business as well as those of our partners to trend “up and to to the right”, indicating favorable financial performance.

Quality
Usability
Visibility
Performance

Today, the trajectory for these measurements is up and to the right for all Broadvine products resulting in UI updates, speed improvements, and feature enhancements for many of the tools you use every day. We will soon be sharing previews of upcoming enhancements and new features in the Broadvine Ledger.

 

The Broadvine Product Development team, through new processes, renewed focus and crazy-fast learning is working to strengthen our partnerships with you, our customers. Everyone wins when results are trending up and to the right.

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