November 23, 2020 / Crew Blog

Keep It Agile

Long Nguyen

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Agile and Football: The Similarities Might Surprise You

Agile is an iterative approach to project management and software development that helps teams deliver value to their customers faster while still meeting expectations. Agile is group methodologies that demonstrate commitments and continuous improvements. Agile is an important part of Infinite Blue and how we operate behind the scenes. In this article, we will review one of the concepts of Agile which is the sprint cycle, while comparing it to something we are familiar with – American football.  

In football, the season is broken up into multiple weeks which are similar to sprint cycles. At the start of every week, coaches and their team will come up with a game plan and choose a number of plays from the playbook to execute. During practice, they will choose certain plays from the game plan to work on, while addressing any problems they may have run into. Then they will utilize these plays on game day. Win or lose, the day after, the team will get together to watch the film, which is a culmination of all their work up to this point. Afterwards, the coaches and players review what they should stop doing, continue doing, and start doing. Then the cycle repeats and the team starts planning for next week. 

Agile works in the same way – the product owner and developers will review the backlog items for a sprint. Based on the number of developers available, the team will commit a certain number of backlog items into the sprint during sprint planning. Every day, developers will have a stand up meeting to talk about what they did yesterday and their goals for today. At the end of the sprint period, developers will have a sprint review to go over what items are not complete and the reason why they are not. In addition, developers will hold an informal session to view a demo of the completed work and get feedback. Lastly in the sprint retrospective, the developers will review what they should stop doing, continue doing, and start doing for the next sprint. 

This is only one application of Agile methodologies. People can use the Agile techniques in their everyday lives to manage daunting tasks and eventually reach their goals. 

Keep it Agile. 

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