Over the years we've refined our approach based on best practices and our own experience.
We highly value communication and make sure that everybody involved is on the same page when it comes to the project's goals and progress.
Our agile approach is geared towards delivering results in a predictable and efficient way, while still allowing for ideas and priorities to change.
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We start a project by writing stories together with our client that describe all desired features in a narrative form. For example: "A visitor can add a product to her shopping cart". The client can prioritize the stories. We will follow that order while developing. In the development phase we keep track of every new feature, bug or chore that needs to be addressed in the project's central tracker.
Realtime project status
We deliver finished stories to a test site and our client tests and accepts or rejects them. Based on the information in the project's tracker both the client and we always have an up to date overview of the exact project status. Since we rate the complexity of every story we can make predictions on when a release will be finished, getting more accurate as the project progresses.
We work on in weekly sprints. The client decides what the priority of the stories is and thus determines which stories end up in a sprint. During a sprint we explicitly mark stories as started or finished and deliver them to the testing environment. At the end of every sprint we deliver a complete, usable version of the site or application.
We guarantee that a project is in a constant releasable state by writing automated tests that verify that functionality is and keeps working as intended. We write unit tests for the back-end code and acceptance tests for the whole application that simulate a user's behavior by clicking links, filling out forms and validating that the results are correct.
We stay in constant contact with our clients during the project to make sure that we're providing great service. We love to have clients over at the office often (if they're local) or have a conference call multiple times a week. This lets us identify problems early on and allows us to have a very clear idea of what our client wants.