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Agile Development, Agile Product

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Megan Key

I’m not a technical gal. I can navigate my way through any application, but don’t ask me how it works. As a manager I am often frustrated by the limitations in our management software. For the most part I grumble my way past the inefficient idiosyncrasies and find little cheats to cut 5 seconds off my process here, 10 seconds there. Fortunately for me my desk is rather close to that of our president and development guru Charles Quinn. When he tires of my grunts, mumbles, and groans he inevitably turns to offer assistance. To my surprise he often responds to my frustrations in agreement, “Yes, that feature should be available. That is a great idea. You should request that feature be added.”

The idea that I could request a change in functionality to an application had never entered my mind. I am accustomed to using either stagnant software made by big names and mass marketed to a general audience or industry specific applications that are, cough cough, built using Access and marketed toward a very specific audience. In both scenarios the product tends to come as is or in edition format. If you want to see a change in the product, you have to wait for an undefined period of time until the software company releases the next edition.

I started sending feature requests to the incredibly responsive support team at letsfreckle.com. We use letsfreckle.com for time tracking and internal management. To my surprise, my requests materialized almost immediately! Within a few weeks I was using all of the features I had requested. Though these features may seem small, they have reduced the time I spend generating reports by 50%. My grunts and groans are now replaced with cheers and excited sighs of relief.

Highgroove loves rails and loves agility. Agile is defined as being active. Active is defined as being in a state of progress. We use rails apps wherever possible which I assumed was our way of supporting the community. Now I know that we use rails apps because they are built by agile developers and are therefore adaptable to our needs. Sure, we tend to support our rails community, but we choose products based on functionality and agility.

Does your software adapt to your needs? What agile software are you using?

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Megan Key

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