Thursday, June 17, 2010

Starting with Startup - Minimizing Unknowns

In the previous post I have explained some reasoning why have we selected certain technologies, tools and processes. As mentioned all decisions were made to minimize number of unknowns in the project.

So process was selected in a way so we can adapt easily - means Agile.
Tools and technologies were selected according to project needs and common knowledge of the team.
Hopefully team will get know each other as time passes by and I have believed that everything will go fine (and mostly lucky for us that was the case).

But the biggest unknown was still there - PROJECT.

You cannot start development before you know what need to be implemented. Just having list of user stories would not be enough. You have to understand similar projects, you need to feel similar projects, know what are your main differences and how to use them to be successful.

Or in short - team has to share the same VISION.

And next few sprints were devoted exactly to this. Project investigation. We have been doing 1 week sprints and each project member was investigating different aspects of the similar projects. We have studied things like:
  • features
  • user interface
  • easy of use
  • lot of discussion with product owner to get feeling what are his main ideas

At the end of each sprint we had demo. Demo was used to present in details what are doing similar companies (should I say competitors :) ). This way all project members (including product owner) were able to better understand what is expected from us and in which direction we should roll out project.

We did couple of week length sprints and when we have feel confident enough we were able to start with the project.

So let summarize steps we did so far:
  • process selection
  • team educatin
  • tools and technology selection
  • project investigation

And now we are finally ready to start with the project. So in next posts I will describe some challenges we had during project development. Stay tuned :)