The Value of Pragmatic Agile Development: Interview with Scrum Master Kenneth Cascante
At Gorilla Logic we practice pragmatic Agile. Pragmatic Agile is an adoption of Agile that identifies those practices that make sense for individual teams, their context and the objectives they wish to achieve. This means our focus is always on delivering value, rather than adhering to rituals and theoretical principles.
We talked to certified Scrum Master® and Gorilla Logic team member Kenneth Cascante about the business value of pragmatic Agile for our clients. A scrum master’s role is to work alongside the product development team to deliver new products and catalyze improvements using scrum methodology. Kenneth has worked as a software developer and scrum master for over 12 years and is passionate about Agile technologies.
1. Why is Agile a better process than others for software development teams?
Today, software development companies are rushing to deliver solutions and products as fast as they can. So, time to market is very important. Agile accelerates time to market by fostering values like transparency, visibility, quality and value. By delivering working software at the end of each short iteration, the Agile team is capable of inspecting and adapting to it while empowering self-organization.
2. What is your process?
My process with teams is based on creating an atmosphere of trust and transparency in order to empower them to deliver their commitments after each sprint. As Scrum Master you look forward to being a “servant” leader and a coach. I try to let go of any ideas of power. Instead, I try to make the team understand they are the owners of the process and when they succeed they do it as a team.
When working on projects, I try to guide the team through the Agile framework, but always relate everything to a value. For example, when explaining velocity, I like to talk about predictability, how to establish a rhythm and a cadence through the sprints. When we do capacity planning I try to make them understand the power of the standup meeting, the usage of the board and how these two allow you to identify impediments faster. I take my role as coach seriously and always try to make my team better and trust in their ability to deliver value.
3. How does QA add to the Agile team?
Quality is one value Agile empowers. QA members are responsible for influencing their fellow team members to address quality through the whole development process. This is achieved through writing tests and also teaching them how to understand key concepts like acceptance criteria or the definition of “done” for stories.
4. What are the biggest challenges of using Agile?
When companies start their Agile adoption, people tend to think it’s simply a change in the process. However, it’s actually a change of mindset. Allowing to let go of control, trusting the teams to deliver what they can and focusing on business value is often a surprising change to teams used to Waterfall. However, once they get over this initial surprise they begin to see how smooth the Agile process runs and how much value it provides.
5. What made you choose Gorilla Logic?
Gorilla has this awesome environment that captures you! From the beginning of my interview process, I was able to understand how easy and joyful it is to work here because it is like a big family of talented and fun people.
6. What is important for our clients to know?
At Gorilla Logic we believe in Agile values. We thoroughly understand the different frameworks and we use those to continuously improve and evolve our process and help our customers. It’s truly a pragmatic Agile approach.
To read more about Kenneth, please see his LinkedIn and don’t forget to check out his numerous blog posts on Agile best practices. If you have any questions about pragmatic Agile or scrum, please comment below and follow us on LinkedIn.