Wednesday, January 26, 2022

How to Implement Agile Methods Into Your Product Development Company

The way you optimize your business processes is critical to the success of any product development company . Engaging in practices that are highly efficient and incorporate forward thinking can enable your business to be ahead of its competitors. A continuous review process of existing strategies will allow for innovative ideas to be recognized and bring about benefits in many areas including increased productivity, better use of resources and greater customer satisfaction.

A valuable way to optimize your business processes is to consider implementing agile methods into your product development company. Agile approaches have been proven to increase productivity, improve resource management, and can help companies become more flexible and competitive in the market.

There are two key reasons why you may want to do this:

1) Improve Productivity by Running Workshops

Coming up with ideas for products and new features is usually done by brainstorming sessions involving a group of people working together on one idea. This usually results in many different suggestions and ideas that need developing and evaluating before they eventually get implemented as new features or products. One approach that has been shown to be quite effective at generating these creative ideas is the “Six Thinking Hats” method. It is based on the idea that when we are in a brainstorming session, we should be able to look at problems from different angles and perspectives (hence the six hats). Productivity can be improved by splitting up all people involved into smaller groups who take turns wearing each of these hats in order to carefully evaluate and focus on specific aspects of the problem. This is easy to simulate with Glassboard, all it takes is creating a board for each hat and adding separate lists of users under them.

2) Work on Cross Functional Teams by Creating Boards for each Hat

The goal of the Six Hats technique is that we should be able to look at problems from different angles and perspectives (hence the six hats). Productivity can be improved by splitting up all people involved into smaller groups who take turns wearing each of these hats in order to carefully evaluate and focus on specific aspects of the problem. This is easy to simulate with Glassboard, all it takes is creating a board for each hat and adding separate lists of users under them.

For example:

Create a board titled “Blue” and add your product owner, developers, QA engineers and other interested users into it. Login as any one user. Create boards titled “Yellow”, “Green”, “Red”, “Orange” and “Purple” If you are the only user in your list of boards, go to Settings > User management… > Manage users. Add more users into this list by typing their email addresses one by one or using the import functionality (the button on the left side).

Change the role of a user in any board by clicking on his name. This way you can switch between all roles within different boards.

Create lists under each board for every hat color. You can use either predefined labels or define your own custom labels if needed. Go to the Lists & Folders section. Drag&drop already existing lists/folders where you want to change the hat color.

In every list you can manage the access levels for each of your board members, override their roles or reset them back to default ones which are provided by Jorte.

Lists & Folders section is a new feature which was implemented in this update. There you can create and manage different lists/folders with contacts which will be available from the Contact List module within any of your boards. You can either use pre-defined labels or define custom labels if needed (Please see Orange vs Purple Scenario). If you switch the role of a board member using the User management menu as mentioned before, that user will appear under all lists/folders created under his board. Please note that only those who have rights to manage lists/folders will be able to see those lists.

Using this feature, you can now easily create personal/family contact lists (e.g. “Family”,”Coworkers”,”Quick Contacts”). You can also share these lists with other members of your board and that member will be able to access them from any board under the Jorte Community server or his own Jorte installation (Please see the Sharing section mentioned later).

You might find it strange that we made a separate module for Contact List which used to be embedded in the Calendar & Tasks module before. Well, we decided to take this step after considering the following points: Some users were complaining about the lack of configurable options for viewing contacts within the Calendar & Tasks module; we read through users’ feedback and made some improvements, but they were still not satisfied. Since Jorte has two quite different functions: Calendar and Contacts Management, we thought it would be more appropriate to separate these modules and let each of them focus on a specific area.

Users now can choose which one to use depending on their needs or if you want to follow up with your contacts without entering any event, you can do so by adding the contact as a label. Some useful label types include “Follow-up”,”Action Needed”,”Call Back” as shown in the screenshot above. There is also an option that lets you set duration for follow-up or time span for action needed.

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