What is Agile? And why we use it at Tide…

What is agile?

In 2001, a group of 17 independent thinkers about software development went to a ski resort in the Wasatch mountains of Utah, and came up with some basic concepts that they believed were at the heart of developing successful software products. They called this the Agile Manifesto – and the rest is history.

Agile is a mindset, rather than a methodology, but many methodologies based on Agile were born, like Scrum and XP. 17 years later, many companies are still transitioning to Agile – but in very few places has the Agile mindset been really assimilated into the company culture. (Yes, using Jira or having standups doesn’t necessarily make you Agile 🙂 ) .

Agile at Tide

At Tide, we believe that operating as an Agile company is the best way to deliver great products and delight our members with outstanding service. For this reason, being part of Tide shouldn’t just be about going through the motions of an Agile framework: we try to make it feel like you’re part of an open, vibrant and collaborative culture across all departments, not only software development.

We truly believe that Agility is part of who we are

Why Agile?

For us at Tide, we believe that Agility is the best way to reach out to our members earlier, deliver them value continuously and frequently and involve them in the process of defining how to provide them with a better experience in the future.

Tide members are at the center of everything that we do

How do we achieve Agility?

Every morning, our team has a stretching session during the stand-up 🙂

Seriously though, to help us operate in a more agile way, we plan our work collaboratively and in cross-functional teams, where engineers, testers, designers and business people work together on a daily basis.

We leverage collaboration and break silos.

We aim to empower people as much as possible, by creating stable, autonomous, goal-driven teams. This minimizes the dependencies between teams, decisions can be taken faster and we can react fast to the market and the members’ needs.

We leverage distributed leadership over strong hierarchy

We inspect and adapt continuously and fast. We take data-driven decisions to support our assumptions and leverage continuous feedback to improve.

What Agile framework do we use?

We use Scrum. Why? Well, there are several reasons:

  • Scrum offers the right balance between being prescriptive and being open: it’s a framework that offers support for teams adopting an Agile methodology for the first time, but leaves room for customisation and borrowing good practices from other methodologies, like Kanban and XP.
  • It’s the most used Agile framework, which means that there’s a big community to interact with to get ideas, share concerns and get support and learning
  • There are common practices and patterns on how to scale Scrum. This is great for a company that’s growing as fast as Tide
  • Its natural rhythm and cadence provides the business with regular updates and feedback points, allowing for forecasting and better decisions

That doesn’t mean that we’ll stick to this framework forever: as a company we’re continuously learning and adapting.

Scrum serves well our need to scale, support and innovate

Image source: 2017 State of Agile Report compiled by VersionOne

Manu is our Head of Agile Delivery here at Tide.

Manuele Piastra

Head of Agile Delivery at Tide