At Datitude, we pride ourselves on continuously improving our Application with regular updates and new features, and we release these to our clients as part of our standard service offering. Ideas for new features are driven by feedback from our clients and partners, as well as the team’s experience.
Our software lifecycle methodology follows the Scrum framework to give it structure and guidance, but we’re not slaves to the process. We use the best bits that work well for us!
Here’s a summary of the steps we take from a feature’s inception to release.
STEP 1 - PRODUCT BACKLOG CREATION The product backlog lists all features that need to be worked on during upcoming development. Each item is called a “user story” and details the work that needs to be done. The backlog is ordered by priority.
STEP 2 - SPRINT PLANNING A sprint is a time-boxed unit of work that allows us to deliver a release quickly and efficiently. Typically, we choose between 2- and 4-weeks duration for our sprints depending on the situation.
The product backlog is reviewed, prioritised and time estimated. The delivery team add the most important items to the sprint backlog taking time estimates into consideration. All items in the sprint backlog should be able to be completed in the allotted time.
STEP 3 - THE SPRINT The development process now begins with regular ‘stand-up’ meetings to discuss progress and any issues or concerns. We use a Scrum Board to track the progress of all tasks in the sprint. The board is divided into multiple headed columns, a simple example being To Do, In Progress and Done. As the tasks in each user story are progressed, they move across the board into the appropriate columns.
STEP 4 - TESTING AND DEMO The ultimate goal of each sprint is working software. The working software is put through a quality assurance (QA) process to verify the requirements have been implemented correctly and to identify any bugs that might have crept in. The completed software is then demonstrated to the wider stakeholders for final sign-off.
STEP 5 - RELEASE When the sprint is completed and verified by all stakeholders, we release the update to all clients, along with updated guidance notes, and run training sessions if required.
We’re big fans of the Scrum software development framework. We’re able to continuously improve our software in an agile manner whilst our clients benefit from regular enhancements and new features to get even more from their data.