Agile runs through everything we do at Lab Zero: how we explore customer and market needs; how we describe a problem space and identify product hypotheses; how we course-correct our design and our software seeking qualified feedback along the way; and, of course, how we organize ourselves. We also help our customers integrate these methods throughout their business.
For us, Agile falls somewhere between Faith and Practice. We believe that iterative building and learning makes a huge difference for the types of products we work on. Forming testable hypotheses, working with real users, and delivering on a rapid cadence are just some of the things that we insist on when we take on a new client.
Lab Zero is a pretty flat place. Organization-wise. When we’re working with clients our team members hold leadership positions because they’re able, personable, and have grit. But when we’re back at Lab Zero, we’re a flat org. There aren’t a bunch of VPs and Managing Directors like you see at many design/build outfits. But we’re growing now, and because The Number One Thing is the Team, we’re choosing now to promote some folks who have what it takes to help grow our teams and to set standards within those teams.
People get great software product ideas all the time. Modern software development injects reality to the picture. Agile and Lean practices, test-driven development, customer interviews: plans and teams that are tethered to reality won't float away and build something pointless.
Software teams have been adopting Agile methods for decades. Small teams have crushed it, producing higher quality products in shorter time horizons with fewer bugs and less waste. And yet enterprise Agile transformation programs often utterly fail to produce the business outcomes their sponsors and proponents hope for. Why?
The worlds of software design and engineering intersect and frequently intertwine. The partnership is critical, and yet we often hear stories about how the two disciplines come into conflict.
Software is all around us. In banks. Operating rooms. It runs the power grid. Lands the airplane. Teaches our children. It's in the voting booth, and it's in our bedrooms.
It’s noon at Lab Zero. Soft corporate punk plays on the hi-fi. Some people are eating lunch, talking politics. I look up from my salad. In #deploy somebody has written ‘Everything is deployed. Smoke tests are running. I’ll send an update when they’re complete.’ And I’m agitated. They added hard-boiled egg again.
Your client pays your invoices. You passed all the background checks. But how do you know they trust you? We look for signs of trust from our partners, and we reinforce patterns that increase that trust. Here are some cues to watch for:
You’re reviewing the product roadmap in a meeting and you hear, “We need a dashboard.”