We establish development processes and optimize tools and infrastructure that best cater the specific needs of each corporation we work with.
Agile methodologies and Scrum framework are what we believe in and pursue at Axon Active Vietnam. In our ODC & OTC approaches our developers & testers work in teams in the most customer-oriented methods (Team + Scrum Master). And at every step (Sprint) our Teams communicate directly with Customer (Product Owner).
In common practice, User Stories are estimated only by a couple of senior executives such as Project Managers, Architecture Designers, and Business Analysts. With Scrum, we rely on Planning Poker, which uses relative base number (Fibonacci-like) and participation of all members in the development team. With everyone in the team involved, estimation results prove to be faster and more reliable.
The Team are those who develop the product. They know best about the working schedule. Their estimation, therefore, is the most accurate. But, of course, it only serves as a forecast.
Online Planning Poker is designed for the Team, especially the Distribution Team, to make optimal estimation with their electronic devices. Additionally, Online Planning Poker facilitates the Team's agreement on other sizing decisions.
Amongst the most important innovations in Scrum is Time Box. Time Box helps the Scrum Team organize and manage their meetings effectively as well as optimize meeting outputs.
Scrum itself is all about Time Box: Sprint length cannot be changed once committed; planning for a meeting must be two-hour long at most for two-week Sprint; and Daily Scrum is limited to 15 minutes. Time Box helps the Team optimize their discussions by focusing on the most important issues, and deliver the best output in the shortest time.
In order to make sure everyone follows Time Box, there is Cash-Clock. Cash-Clock is a tool built on "Time is Money" idea. It calculates and converts lateness and extension into financial figures i.e money. This conversion helps the Team visualize the cost of Time Box violations, and understand the importance of timeliness.
Time Box's timer keeps discussions on track and keeps track of meetings and event's timing. It can also be used in silent mode when a speech is given.
To ensure that things are going on the right track, it is essential to maintain communications on expectations of the stakeholders. Success Slider is designed for that purpose.
Success Slider helps the Team understand better what really matter to Product Owner and Stakeholders. At the same time it helps Product Owner and Stakeholders understand the limitations in their expectations.
By default, there are six sliders, each of which reflects a dimension by which Agile project success can be determined. Each slider starts at the average level 3, and can be adjusted Product Owner and Stakeholders. Of course, due to limitations, it is impossible for all the sliders to be moved at level 5, and vice versa.
If you would like to learn more about ODC & OTC, or to participate in our Agile processes, to work with our offshore development teams, or keen to set up your own Team, please contact us:
*Project Success Slider was first mentioned in the book "Radical Project Management" by Rob Thomsett, 2002.
**Planning Poker (R) is a reg. Trademark of Mountain Goat Software, LCC.
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Each estimator is holding a deck of Planning Poker cards with values like 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 20, 40 and 100, which is the sequence we recommend. The values represent the number of story points, ideal days, or other units in which the team estimates.
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