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EC2 meeting – what is waiting for us in 2019?

On February 8, we met at the company’s quarterly meeting. This time we chose an interesting space in the Kielce Technology Park for the meeting place. The meeting was devoted above all to the further directions of the company’s development. Jakub Budziszewski – CEO, presented a proposal for changes in the organization of the company. The agenda of the meeting also included: DevOps, requirements engineering and project management. We also talked about the company’s image on the Internet.

We devoted the greater part of the meeting to a joint discussion on the current situation in the company. Each of us presented his opinion about the solutions used in the company, working conditions and tools that we use. The Management Board has gained invaluable knowledge to carry out further activities improving our operations.

 

AGILITY sketch on notebook

Scrum only for IT? Definitely not!

Often, people who are just beginning to be interested in introducing Agile in their organization are wondering if it is dedicated only to IT projects. The answer is NO! Agile is a way of thinking (mindset) about managing complex projects, which may apply to both specific projects and entire organizations. The characteristics of this philosophy are, among others:

• close and partnership cooperation of all parties involved in the implemented project
• iterative (repeated, in the loop) and incremental way of delivering results,
• openness to changes, through flexibility to changing circumstances.

Scrum is a method of organizing the work of a team that works on the development of a given product. The nature or type of product that is produced is very much dependent on the industry and the environment (team) in which it arises. In IT projects, a product is a specific software, eg an application or a system, but it is not always the case. In contrast, an example of a product outside the industry may be a marketing campaign implemented by a team / consultants from a consulting company, preparation, publication and promotion of a research report by a team of scientists or a change of awareness about a topic among beneficiaries of a social project implemented by a non-governmental organization.

An interesting example of using the Agile approach is its use in church organizations by pastor Arline Conan Sutherland. In the report prepared by her entitled “Scrum in Church: Saving the World One Team at a Time” shows how Scrum was implemented in non-profit organizations, thanks to which it was possible to increase productivity, improve the quality of teamwork, encourage effective communication and cooperation, improve the work environment and personal relationships throughout the organization. The author identified Scrum as a valuable change agent.

Another equally inspiring example of using the Agile approach is the history of the Starr family, which was discussed in the lecture by writer Bruce Feiler. David is a programmer, Eleaonor deals with home and children aged 10 – 15 years, one of the children gives tutoring, the second trains a game in lacrosse in the second part of the city, the third has Asperger syndrome and the fourth ADHD. According to Eleaonor, their life is one big chaos. The mornings were the worst, everyone was running, shouting in a hurry to get out of the house and be on time in school, at work or in class. One day, David decided to introduce Agile to his family, which has changed their world 180 degrees since then. Everyone, after waking up, looked at the table, on which there were tasks assigned for each individual. As a result, everyone knew what to do. The situation in the home was normalized thanks to the fact that the team (family) together introduced coherent and transparent ways of organizing their everyday life.

The main benefits mentioned by entities and teams that have decided to apply the Agile approach are:

• flexibility of operations at the operational level,
• greater involvement of project stakeholders than in the various stages of the project, both in terms of planning, implementation and project closure
• more effective implementation of the objectives of the entire project

As you can see, Agile is not limited to a specific type of products, although it is still the most popular in the IT industry. An additional and, what is more, an essential component to achieve the recalled effect is the understanding and adoption of the way of thinking and organizational culture characteristic of the Agile model, referring to the so-called soft areas like trust, openness or partnership. It is worth noting that the role of these elements, due to their hard to measure nature, is often overlooked or marginalized, and they are an important area that allows to build an appropriate foundation within which it will be possible to implement projects in this methodology.

This approach inspired us to create a training project – SCRUMup! We invite you to visit our website www.scrumup.pl.

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SCRUM ADJUSTMENT IN THE ORGANIZATION

What are the differences between the traditional approach to project organization and Scrum? By the term “traditional”, I mean the methodology of the so-called Waterfall, that is, where the project is carefully planned at the beginning and documented in the most important details. It is only after this phase that the implementation starts. Verification follows the implementation of the entire product, and changes are implemented through further mini-projects.

The most important difference between this approach and Scrum is the relationship with the client. The basic approach is focused on the contracting relationship – the contractor in which the value is the product for the contracting party and the remuneration for the contractor. Scrum not only does not divide the project and the goal into two sides, but rather indicates the client as a team partner. Cooperation is taking place here in order to obtain the best final results. On the other hand, it allows you to refine the product, also by identifying those customer needs that he was not aware of. In practice, it can be seen that projects carried out in Scrum last shorter and with much greater satisfaction for the client than realized in the traditional way. This is due to the fact that having a common goal, the team does not waste time and energy on the proverbial “fight” with the client and uses its technical potential.

It should be mentioned that a lot depends on the team itself. Scrum carried out in the wrong way will only make the situation worse, instead of improving it.

I think that the most valuable in the scrum are: short iterations (so-called sprints), after which corrections can be made. We do not waste time if we notice that something does not work until the end of the entire project, but through short iterations we can often improve something or throw it away if we consider it unnecessary.

• We plan our work for the next iteration: for example, a week,
• After the sprint is finished, we check the results: if we have not obtained the desired satisfaction, we determine what we change during the next iteration,
• The effect of each sprint is a small, but functional part of the product that can be tested on a potential customer and apply corrections or discard what is unnecessary,
• After the sprint has finished, a retrospective with the team follows: what can we do better in the next sprint?

One of the main assumptions of Scrum is its adaptation to the needs of the organization and the team. Each activity differs from the others, just like the projects that are being implemented. The assumption that you can conduct a variety of jobs is also very risky and usually does not work. Therefore, Scrum does not impose any element, but only offers a set of practices and tools that are helpful. At the same time, however, they are independent of each other.

It often happens that the organization successfully implements only part of the processes, observing the improvement of efficiency, while maintaining other activities or tools, adapted to their business profile. Unfortunately, sometimes designers, out of pure ignorance or laziness, do not pay enough attention to the correct implementation of Scrum or adapting its elements. This results in various anti-monitors, which we will discuss in the next article.

In summary, the issue of choosing the method of project implementation should ultimately be taken in the organization. It is not a mistake not to use Scrum, but the wrong approach is certainly not taking it into account when planning a new project. Scrum is a methodology, a philosophy of project implementation by changing the way of thinking about the relationship between the recipient of the product and the team. Certainly it is not a solution for everyone, it is not a remedy for all project problems, but it is worth considering an alternative and a powerful tool for each team. If your team works in Scrum, think about whether you really use all of its instruments, if you do not have to think about what to do to change it.

– Mateusz Piekarz, Analyst

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GDRP – what changes in the protection of personal data?

May 25, 2018 will bring revolutionary changes in the field of personal data protection. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is very important from the perspective of entrepreneurs: new responsibilities and the need to adapt processes and technological facilities.

GDPR comprehensively regulates the protection of personal data in the European Union. The assumption of work on this regulation was to limit the diversity of regulations between individual Member States. The new legal provisions provide for a number of obligations that processors and administrators should meet in order to lawfully process personal data. GDPR requires that personal data controllers and processors analyze the level of risk and, based on its assessment, decide on the type and scope of technical and organizational measures for data protection. Importantly, the GDPR will not strictly regulate organizational or technological data security guidelines. You will need to evaluate yourself and decide what and how to make it safe.

In addition to analyzing the level of risk, an important requirement resulting from GDPR will also be to ensure accountability, i.e. to demonstrate that the law is being observed. Companies should not downplay these requirements because with them a new system of financial penalties is being introduced that will threaten companies not complying with obligations under GDPR. The penalty can amount to up to 20 million euros, or up to 2% or 4% of the company’s annual turnover.

Another significant change in relation to the current legal status will be the obligation to appoint the Personal Data Inspector – the equivalent of the current Information Security Administrator (ABI). Currently, there is no obligation; after the entry into force of GDPR, some entrepreneurs will have no choice and will have to find the right person. This applies above all to those entrepreneurs for whom the processing of personal data is the basis of activity and those who process personal data in a technologically advanced manner, e.g. they monitor the behavior of natural persons, analyze behavior patterns of specific persons and make decisions that may affect such persons. person to influence.

GDPR is not only an obligation but also a facilitation. The entry into force of the Regulation will abolish, among others obligation to submit data sets and update them.

IT will have a very large share in the proper adjustment of the company to GDPR records. It is necessary to ensure a high level of IT security, including due to the need to maintain control over the places where data is stored, the possibility of guaranteeing a specific period of data retention, modification and deletion, including from unstructured data and from backups. Adaptations will also require processes related to obtaining consent for data processing and classification of data.

GDPR introduces a broader catalog of information obligations that we will have to perform when collecting data. You will be able to collect them further, remembering that we need to reliably inform, and where it is necessary – ask for consent for the processing of personal data. It is worth remembering that the fact of withdrawing consent will need to be properly documented. For the purpose of demonstrating the compliance of the processing with the law, we will be obliged to store information about who gave consent, when it did, to what extent and what information was provided to him when receiving consent.

According to the IDC analytical center, in 2018 34% of expenditure related to IT security in Europe will be related to the need to adapt business systems and processes to new legal requirements regarding the protection of personal data.