At //SEIBERT/MEDIA, we’ve been developing and creating software for years. During this time, we’ve discovered some basic elements that are vital to building products that gain wider marketplace acceptance and are, ideally, exciting.
When I hear about dissatisfied customers or projects that failed, it’s usually because we’ve neglected to consider at least one of the following “three pillars of successful product innovation.” I now regard them as essential to our success as a product provider.
The aim of a Hackathon is to put yourself under time pressure, and intensively work for this short period of time to develop and deliver a product, or complete a small project. With the encouragement of our developers, it has become an integral part of our agile organization.
With our Linchpin Mobile app, we want to give our employees as well as our customers’ employees the ability to collaborate and communicate no matter where they are, or which time zone they’re in. Currently, Linchpin Mobile is in beta. Do you want to learn more about it?
At //SEIBERT/MEDIA, we strive to incorporate agile concepts and methods outside of software development, throughout the entire company and extend them to work for all processes. An important tool within our agile organization is the Open Space, the so-called “unconference”.
The goal of a hackathon is to buckle down and create a product and/or complete a small project under time pressure (at //SEIBERT/MEDIA within 24 hours). The hackathon team alone plans and decides what kind of product or project to work on. We explained the reasons for regularly conducting hackathons in our agile organization in more detailed articles. On the one hand, we strive to create concrete and truly innovative solutions. On the other hand, we try to attain “soft” effects, such as promoting training, teamwork and personal responsibility and motivating our employees. Our latest hackathon took place in early July 2013. In the following chronological field report, we offer insight into the work of the team that designed and developed the EasyEvents Confluence plugin.
We are often contacted by customers with very rough, technical requirements lists for software projects. In cases like this, the first project step for //SEIBERT/MEDIA is to turn the customer’s requirements list into a product backlog that highlights how the customer benefits from the requirements. This is not a trivial task and requires time and resources. But why should the customer pay for this preparation work that has nothing to do with actually completing the project?
We’ve been using the agile framework Scrum to complete software development projects for almost four years now. Many Scrum elements also form the basis of our process model for continuously improving our organization. The internal label for our process is “Agile Org”. In one-month cycles, we think about things we want to change and work on them. The topics vary greatly from improving company strategy and forming more intensive customer relationships to internal issues like creating a good work-life balance.
In many teams, islands of knowledge are a major topic and great challenge. At the same time, team members ask themselves what areas they should continue improving and training in. This is where a “skill matrix” can provide a starting point for exchange within development teams. This aid helps you process and visualize: