FULCRUM - A SCRUM process you can actually implement in the government
If you have ever done the time killing task of writing a full requirements specification for your project, only to have it used as a coaster by the development team - you will appreciate our approach. If you have ever tried to explain to a group of developers precisely what you want them to do only to have them stare at you with blank faces - you will love our approach.
As projects progress, situations change, new ideas emerge and old ideas seem to have been made with false insight. Falcon implements a flexible method that welcomes change as more information becomes clear. We call this the FULCRUM method. Our software approach comes from decades of staff experience. We have served our time in the trenches of archaic process. We have tried countless methods; agile, waterfall, you name it! We have taken the best concepts from each and created a development team with a process that is unmatched on our abilities to not only move quickly but do it while still building the most complicated applications on the market today.
Some of the principles behind the FULCRUM method are:
- Customer satisfaction through rapid, continuous delivery of useful software
- Working software is delivered frequently (weeks rather than months)
- Working software is the principal measure of progress
- Even late changes in requirements are welcomed
- Close cooperation between business people and developers
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design
- Regular adaptation to changing circumstances
The overarching goal of FULCRUM is to produce incremental working software releases that match customer requirements in the shortest amount of time with minimal risk. FULCRUM (Falcon Liberal Scrum) implements several SCRUM and Agile based core tenets such as user stories vs. lengthy requirements, mandatory buy in from all project stakeholders, self-organizing collegial teams, and high visibility of project progress through backlog and burn down reports. The process focuses on communication with the business stakeholders (Project Owners) to develop systems that meet current, new, and potential needs as quickly as possible. FULCRUM mandates accurate project tracking with real-time accountability to the project owner.
Major risks in software development include hero based approaches, inadequate configuration management/testing, waterfall type development against stale requirements that do not meet business needs, utilization of inappropriate/outdated technologies, and staff skill set stagnation. FULCRUM mitigates these risks by eliminating hero based development. Every line of code is reviewed by multiple developers. Our process requires daily code check-in/check-out, embedded documentation of code and database objects and changes at the procedural level, and automated builds of working software and documentation on frequent intervals to solve configuration management issues. Cross training ensures multiple staff members can implement/maintain every aspect of the system. We require pair programming and yearly training to ensure staff is up to date on the latest technologies.