Cougar Mountain Software is constantly striving for new ways to better serve our customers and bring them the best software to properly run their business. Our recent adoption of the SCRUM methodology for the product development team is our way of accomplishing that. We recently sat down with Angel Smith, our SCRUM Master, to learn more about the opportunities this presents for Cougar Mountain Software and our customers.
CMS: What is SCRUM?
Angel Smith: Scrum is an iterative and advancement agile software development method for managing software projects and product development.
CMS: What conditions made the decision to use SCRUM possible?
Angel Smith: We found that our previous methodology, the Waterfall, was not producing the product fast enough to market and it was impacting our ability to deliver the product to our customers. We always strive to incorporate customer and stakeholder feedback into our software but with our previous process we were not able to be reactive enough. There was too much emphasis on previous policies and procedures versus producing and releasing the product to market. Now, the personnel is in place to easily learn new procedures and to move the team forward in creating an excellent product.
CMS: How will the new methodology impact CMS, its people, and products?
Angel Smith: The product development and software quality departments have been dissolved to combine the team members into two unified development teams that bring cohesion to the entire production process. This has allowed us to make process flows and development times shorter. Another major impact is the capability to focus one team on defects and new features and focus the other team on the development of the Denali Payroll module, which will be released early next year.
CMS: What will be the noticeable outcomes from this change?
Angel Smith: The noticeable outcomes from the new SCRUM process are the bi-weekly iterations of software that is a potentially shippable product at the end of each sprint. The result is faster product with fewer defects to our clients. Also, our software will be more reactive to customer and stakeholder feedback and have faster development times during the process.
CMS: Who will be affected by our use of SCRUM (both internally and externally)?
Angel Smith: Everyone will be affected both internally and externally by the use of the SCRUM methodology. Our CEO Chuck Gossett said it best, “SCRUM training will result in numerous positive process changes. The principles of these practices and available tools have a rich history of success in software development and will accelerate the quantity and quality of code we release to our customers”
Cougar Mountain Software is pleased to be finding new and faster ways to bring higher quality products to our customers.