May 18, 2020
Small businesses are multifaceted. Usually, people work fingers to the bone to succeed in the area: employers experience shifting roles and juggling responsibilities, but at the same time boost their knowledge in many professional areas every day. Members of small business teams are closer than ever. They always stay in touch with each other and communicate intensively upon various projects they are working on together. Why do people underestimate the power of small businesses? So, in the article, we will present the benefits of working under the agile methodology and also take a look at agile project examples by Bitsens.
Even though small business hardly achieves the same revenue rate as in big companies, the product management process there is more agile. Especially, in comparison to “fat cats” which are strictly following operating procedures and have a higher staff turnover simultaneously. Small businesses hide great advantages over those who grew up large.
Why Does Small Business Perform Better in Agile Development?
There are several reasons for that:
- Flexible teams. Teams within the small business are not only connected professionally, but morally and emotionally, too. In agile product management people focus on interaction and close collaboration. These things we can surely find in small businesses. Such companies can rely on remote workers which prioritize better communication over location closeness. Moreover, the operation process in such businesses is more transparent and simple. It’s due to the lack of a complex hierarchical structure.
- React fast. Small businesses are more nimble than others. It means that their speed’s reactions to external events and changes are higher. New technologies are likely to be adopted quicker than in big companies. What’s more, small teams can take advantage of growing trends or hot current events. They can immediately come up with a product idea, set a product launch plan for 5 days, and tweak marketing activities in order to “catch hype” while it’s possible.
- Responsive to risk. Being sensitive to risk factors is a top quality that any company strives to have. As for small businesses, risk factors appear on their way more often. However, due to fast resources mobilization, they are likely to overcome it smoothly and almost lossless. Close teamwork and agile methodology allow them to transform in case of coming across any risks.
- Space for options. Another great advantage is flexibility with choices small companies can make. It’s not only about tailoring services to particular customers group or hiring the right-for-the moment specialist. The decision made one day in a small company can be easily rethought and changed on the next one. And it’s not a whim gesture. It’s an agile environment that saves space for testing and choosing better options in comparison.
Top 3 Agile Projects Examples Made by Bitsens
A long-term expertise a Bitsens’s team obtained during the work allowed to notice the upcoming trends immediately. It also allowed reacting fast if it seems the right decision at the moment. Here we will present 3 project examples to illustrate how the agile approach empowers to produce successful and popular digital products.
The Floor Is Lava
Our journey in exploiting agile methodology has started with a Unity-based application. It simulates an old children’s game. The rules are simple: find a place to stay until the floor will become lava while someone is counting time down for you.
The premise for creating such an app was a growing popularity of “The Floor Is Lava challenge” on Youtube and a new ARKit technology released by Apple. The technology allowed phones to easily identify space measures (we couldn’t help to test it). The challenge itself gained momentum every day and attracted more people to join it. We decided to try to intervene in this movement and get the hype out of our augmented reality game.
It all took one week: to come up with an idea of the app and get the final product in the end. The Floor is Lava app easily reads the space you’re in and accurately defines which part of it should be covered with AR lava. A few days after the release on App Store, our mobile game ranked #1 in Entertainment. Obviously, as the excitement around the challenge subsided, The Floor is Lava started to get less attention.
Nevertheless, we strongly believe that having this project done in a traditional management manner rather than in an agile one wouldn’t bring the same result and effect. Fast reaction, solid teamwork are key agile tools in this example.
In summer 2019 the world met a new trend – AR masks for Instagram and Facebook. These days they’ve become extremely popular, especially among Instagram users. Facebook developed a Spark AR Studio. It’s tool that is available for everyone to create personal AR masks. This studio has brought a lot of amateur users to the AR arena. Being a part of a creative industry and working closely with Augmented Reality technology, Bitsens just couldn’t stay away from it.
We’ve created numerous AR masks for Instagram and Facebook starting from simple like Bitsens Birthday, Lithuanian flag, and evolving to more complex ones – Sun, Wolf, Silver, Gold, Shape, Hexagon, etc. There is one Bitsens’s mask that was purposely done to an upcoming event – Brexit. The Brexit AR mask was a result of an agile methodology implementation. It was made on time and in capturing manner (you wear the mask and tap on the screen to choose between UK’s and EU’s flags – watch the video). We carried out the test and create a paid promotion targeting people living in the UK which followed by an immediate increase in the number of impressions.
Responding to a change rather than following a plan is one of the rules in the agile project management system. The agile project example is all about it.
At the beginning of 2020, the world has met a common devastating enemy in the face of COVID-19 infection. We knew that we could contribute to the global fight by offering something we’re good at: developing an informative mobile application about coronavirus. As we noticed, people at that time didn’t have all information in one place. So, we came up with an idea to develop a mobile app that shows current statistics on coronavirus outbreaks, infographics by WHO to protect oneself from it and a checklist with known symptoms. As the situation changed, we extend the functionality of our app, add the map, and distance counter of the closest coronavirus outbreak to you. You can read more about it and App Store rejection to publish our app in Medium article “Coronavirus App: How Did We Launch and Promote a Free App with Agile Methodology”.
Despite an unpleasant story result, we are truly satisfied with our success in the agile marketing approach to develop a software application. The unstable environment around coronavirus required fast reactions and changes from us as developers of Coronavirus app and from app stores like Google Play and App Store. Risks were difficult to predict (stores’ behavior, in particular). However, close teamwork communication, collaboration and focus on the result rather than on bureaucratic procedures helped Bitsens to stay on top.
Instead of conclusion
Don’t get it wrong: being always sensitive and open to external events doesn’t mean a 100% successful result within the agile methodology. The product performance, the idea behind it, deadlines, team collaboration, presence of formal procedures, ability to react matter a lot. Let’s say working in agile is a kind of magic that might work out or not, but you have everything to influence the result. Hope, our 3 agile project examples will boost your knowledge in this area.
Except for a flexible approach to carrying out our project, we are always open and happy to hear from you. So, don’t hesitate to write to firstname.lastname@example.org! Also, send us your project estimate request, questions or any other ideas you have in mind.