In 2006, Salesforce made the switch from a waterfall approach to development, to agile in order to improve productivity within a growing global engineering team.
What is ‘Agile’? In essence, the approach helps teams respond to unpredictability through incremental, iterative work cadences (known as sprints). This gives us the ability to develop a subset of high-value features first, incorporating feedback sooner. It’s really a mindset that moves away from the idea of a project (start & end date) to a product, as long as the product exists, a potential increment of value exists.
With that switch Salesforce increased productivity by 38% and major releases were completed 60% faster!
Agile being a mindset does actually need some ‘structure’ to enable best results. Salesforce adopted Scrum framework which guides the increments with events like sprints, daily stand up, backlog refinement, sprint review & retrospective. There are other practices that supports this like Extreme Programing (XP) or invented the use of tools like Chatter for internal collaboration, have an inside look at how Salesforce work.
Having seen the advantage this has brought to Salesforce and positive effects to the ecosystem, they’ve kindly (and free!) made these available in the appexchange the ‘Agile Accelerator’ where you can track business requirements, measure progress, drag and drop tools to manage backlogs, sprints, and user stories, collaborate via chatter and easy to use visual interface. As it is built within the Salesforce platform you can relate records, from linking support tickets to bugs or user stories giving visibility into what is being built or worked on, when, and if updates are made. Since the Winter’17 release you can now render it nicely in Lightning Experience.
It can be used for any type and size of ‘project’ (product increments), it is actually how 10 years ago Salesforce redesigned and have now delivered Lightning Experience which had 85 designers and 60 scrum teams!
Developing an effective Scrum framework requires the time and involvement of many stakeholders, it’s key to inspire and motivate teams to bring a more user/solution-centered approach to build products, always increment by increment.
If you want to learn more about making the move to Agile with Scrum, read me!