Agile – the best way we ever worked


5 reasons why we love to work with Scrum

Over the last few years we adopted agile methods for our daily work at Edenspiekermann, including our clients in the process. Currently we work on all our big projects with multidisciplinary teams in an agile way. We mostly employ Scrum since we have found this particular method to be highly effective and a reliable way to get great results. Here’s a summary of why we work with Scrum.

1 We can master complexity
Traditionally the first phase of a project is used to map out all features and functionality of the product you’re about to build. The problem with this is that the start of a new project is the time when you know the least about your product. Therefore, all the important groundwork and decisions are made by assumption and often prove to be faulty or incomplete later on.
With the agile approach we focus on the most important functionality and build on that in an iterative way, integrating the insights we gain as we go along. This enables us to realize complex projects in a progressive way. The general course is clear but the detailed plan of what to build and in which manner evolves with the product itself in the process of developing it.

2 We are working with our clients
Following a traditional development approach like the waterfall method, we would map out requirements after a clients briefing and would then be left to work on our own. We might come back to the client with a few intermediate presentations but in the end – ta-daaa – the curtain rises and we present a final product, strongly hoping it is what the client needs/wants/imagined. It seems so normal but it really is a very wasteful and frustrating way of working for both sides.
Our agile approach is different. We involve the client. The client is part of the team, discusses and prioritizes upcoming features and functionality, reviews progress, adjusts objectives. Also the client communicates not only with one contact person but with the whole team on a regular basis. This ensures that we work closely along the client’s vision at all times and that we are able to react fast on changes. Are we asking a lot of our client? Yes, absolutely. But the results are fantastic.

3 We are sure to create relevance for clients and users
In our agile process we measure the importance of every functionality against the business value it creates for the client. We work in short iterations (so called sprints), which always conclude in a tangible result that we review and evaluate. We incorporate adjustments and insights of the product and the process as we go along. This is what being agile is all about: Create something real and tangible together, evaluate it, learn from it, then use the insights and continue creating.
Another benefit is the user centric nature of Scrum: Whether we work on a website, an app or a game, we always focus on the end user’s perspective and describe all tasks as so called user stories: “As a user I want to be able to...”. This helps us to involve every member of the team (also the non-tech ones) in a meaningful conversation about functionality and value. This way we are sure to create a product with the best possible user experience.

4 We get the best out of our teams
We work in interdisciplinary teams. In our agile approach the team has no project manager, instead one person (the Scrum Master) moderates the process. The team is self-organized and every member adds their specific skills (code, design, writing etc.) and takes responsibility for the tasks they commit to work on.
This is a radical departure from a traditional team set-up with a heroic leader steering the project and delegating tasks. We empower every member in the team to take on responsibility and bring in everything they have to offer. In our agile approach a constant stream of communication flows through the team on a daily basis. Every team member is heard and seen and the project benefits from the experience and skills of every individual in the team (including our client). Why are we so confident to “give up control”? Because we have great people working with us and we give them power, responsibility and trust. The results speak for themselves.

5 We get fantastic results
Working with an agile approach we get very good results. The quality of our work, the relationship with our clients and the spirit within our teams – basically all aspects of our work – have benefited measurably from this way of working. Being agile means for us not only to use a method like scrum, but also to incorporate the idea and philosophy behind it. Being agile has become an important part of our culture, our mindset and our success at Edenspiekermann. This is the best way we have ever worked. I love it.

Learn more on how we work at Edenspiekermann:
Developer Harry Keller summing up the advantages of iterative processes at Creative Mornings Berlin, welcoming the audience to the “Era of Excellence”. Interaction Designer Scott Savarie writing about his agile experiences at Edenspiekermann, and why interaction designers should learn code. Account Director Johannes Cordes describing his first encounter with agile project management methods: No Risk, No Scrum.

Learn more about agile methods and Scrum.
Read about Lean UX.
Read about the general mindset, the agile manifesto.

See some of our recent work, created in interdisciplinary teams working with Scrum:

Spread the word:

We are using agile methods like Scrum quite a lot at Edenspiekermann – here’s why and how it’s helping…

— Edenspiekermann (@edenspiekermann) February 1, 2013