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Enter the scrum!

We’ve just finished our first ‘sprint’ using the Scrum methodology that we’ve adopted for the development of CODA 2go. There are significant differences between Scrum and more traditional development methodologies we also use. In our adoption of Scrum we develop and test in two-week cycles (‘sprints’) and at the end of each sprint have demonstrable functionality.

One of the main differences with traditional methodologies is that design becomes integrated into the development, rather than being handed from designer to developer. In scrum the designers, developers, testers and documentation guys all sit together and feed off each other’s knowledge and where possible pitch in to get the job done, even if it’s out of the individual’s usual remit. So for example, we have designers and developers working on testing.

The overall objective of the first project is to show our invoicing and sales ledger application at the Dreamforce Europe event in May 2008. The project is divided into three releases, each of which contains two or more sprints, depending on the complexity of the release. The objective of Release 1 Sprint 1 was around the creation of invoices from completed Opportunities. At the end of the sprint there’s a review meeting with all the other stakeholders, a total of about 20 of us. Here we demonstrate the functionality we’ve built and discuss specific issues.

On the whole the sprint was very successful, but like any development project we do have a number of challenges we need to get sorted. However, this is to be expected given that we’re writing a complex application on a brand new platform. Some of our team flew over to Salesforce in San Francisco a few weeks ago, so we’ve got some good connections with their development team. In the next sprint we start to make use of Visualforce. We’re all looking forward to getting our hands on that as that’s where the UI all starts to fall into place, and the application really begins to look and feel like a true accounting system.

Interesting times!

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