By Cornel J. Montano, Founder and Chief Unicorn - Agile Unicorn
It has been a great year - the unicorns have been busy disrupting the software consulting market by holding ourselves accountable to delivering real value - we guarantee it!
For our first blog, we thought it would be helpful to provide answers to our most frequently asked questions.
How does the AU model differ; why is it superior?
Whereas most consulting organizations provide a promise of expertise, transfer the risk to the client to manage, and then ultimately get paid (time/materials) whether quality delivery occurs or not, Agile Unicorn (“AU") provides:
Pay per story (price guarantee), client is invoiced every two weeks for a variable amount based on the number of stories delivered.
Pay per sprint (delivery guarantee), client is invoiced for a fixed dollar amount every two weeks and AU guarantees a minimum number of stories delivered (no maximum).
Pay per team / expertise, client is given direct authority to manage the team (using their own product owner/scrum master), and is invoiced for a fixed dollar amount every two weeks for the team.
What does a typical development cycle look like?
Agile Unicorn will work with clients on a specific engagement; however, many engagements follow a Discovery, Immersion/Prototyping, Delivery pattern:
During Discovery, we groom the backlog of stories (requirement contracts) with the client, so that the team always has work to do (i.e. not waiting on requirements). During this period, we will need a highly responsive decision maker for an initial sprint to partake in at least a once daily conversation. AU Provisions 1 full time Product Owner.
During Immersion & Prototyping, the major goal is to become acquainted with the code, practices and culture as to drive accuracy in future estimation and delivery. During this period we add value to our clients in one of the following ways:
We typically require 8 to 10 hours of a stakeholder/decision makers time every two weeks to review the software and build out stories. AU Provisions:
During Delivery, we build software in minimum value increments on a bi-weekly ("sprintly") basis culminating in an end-of-sprint review and demonstration of working software. By relying on agile methods, we are able to naturally adapt the software to the changing needs of our client’s business.
We ask for about 8 hours per week of a stakeholder/decision maker’s time to review the software and groom the next set of stories. AU Provisions:
What is AU’s development methodology?
Agile Unicorn strictly follows agile methodologies. Based on the engagement, we will choose one of the various popular flavors (Scrum, XP, Lean). We choose agile because: