Mercury Partner Discusses Building Software Like a Rockstar Consultant with Agile Leader Community

Nearly 75 Tampa Bay area agile community leaders joined Mercury Partner, Donald Bickel, as he shared his thoughts on how to Build Software Like A Rockstar Consultant Using Agile. The dynamic discussion focused on key challenges inherent in the delivery of software development services as a consultant when compared to internal IT teams within an organization. The well attended Tampa Bay Agile meeting at Kforce had strong representation from leading Bay Area consulting firms and corporations alike.

The evening’s conversation focused on the pragmatic adoption and implementation of agile methodologies for software development. Mr. Bickel’s insights from his 18+ years of software development were well received by participants who engaged with thoughtful contributions of their personal experiences.

Some of the high level takeaways from the evening’s discourse were as follows:

  • Ensure that there’s a clear understanding of the cost/benefit of each user story
  • Clear and consistent Product Owner engagement
  • Clients typically want assistance with ongoing support and maintenance, which can benefit from differing agile frameworks
  • Demo early and often, ensuring that clients understand what demo’ing means
  • Provide technical consistency and avoid technical sprawl.
  • Carefully manage technical debt by implementing pragmatic methods for monitoring and paying it down.
  • Deploying software should consist of two tasks: 1) picking the version and 2) pressing ‘deploy’

Mr. Bickel concluded his presentation with an interesting analysis of Spotify’s slightly unorthodox, yet highly effective application of agile principles within their organization. Through the use of squads, tribes, chapters and guilds Spotify leverages a ‘professor and entrepreneur’ model for delivery excellence.

“As a Partner at Mercury it’s great to see the direct impact these approaches can make. I’ve also had a chance to see the increased agile adoption and maturation within organizations, which is refreshing. It’s fantastic sharing our firm’s experiences and getting input from other agile leaders”, said Donald Bickel.

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