Watching a mature, Agile pod at work reminds me that software development is influenced by corporate culture, yet still distinct from the larger company that surrounds it. A mature Agile culture values collaboration and teamwork above all else. Mindtree’s Airwolf Pod exemplifies this spirit of collaboration, despite having our team divided between our Agile Center of Excellence in Florida and an office in the Central Time Zone.
The Airwolf Pod is currently redesigning web services for a major airline. The new platform will provide data to various third-party websites that need information about airfares and flight itineraries, and allow customers on those sites to book flights. The airline’s legacy platform earned the airline over a billion dollars last year-but the airline saw room for improvement and knew Mindtree could make it happen.
Mindtree’s Airwolf Pod is building a platform to make it easier for the airline to partner with new third-party websites and cut the on-ramping process down from three months to a single day. How’s that for efficiency!?! The airline will also be able to add new functionality to the platform more quickly, including the ability to accept new foreign currencies and allow customers to pay with vouchers from promotional campaigns.
Maybe it’s the pride of ownership, or maybe it’s the camaraderie built over hours of working together towards a common goal, but I believe agile development fosters a unique sense of teamwork towards purposeful collaboration. “We are the only pod working on this new platform for [the airline],” said the Business Analyst on the project. “We own it and we’re building it from the ground up.”
The Scrum Master for the Airwolf Pod added, “The team is really excited because we get to build this product from scratch. This is a preferable environment for the team because they are not handcuffed by previous developers’ implementation or methodology. They can be pioneers within the Spring Integration framework to make this new product as effective and efficient as possible.”
Even though the team has become a close-knit unit, many of you know that Agile development doesn’t happen by accident. Every morning the team gathers around for their daily “standup” meeting where each member answers the following questions: “What did I do yesterday? What will I do today? Do I have any blockers I need resolved?”
Thanks to an always-on video feed connecting the two locations, the entire team can see and hear each other despite being hundreds of miles apart. “When we’re working with the team, we’re not just thinking about ourselves,” said the Scrum Master. “Instead, we’re working together to make sure that we all meet our common goals.”
The fact that Airwolf Pod works in different states makes their close collaboration even more remarkable. “The difference between the more traditional Agile Pod and our distributed model is that every aspect of collaboration is intentional. Team members can’t always just reach over and tap their neighbor on the shoulder, so the team has to be more proactive about collaboration,” said the Scrum Master.
“I love the collaboration because – from a Business Analyst standpoint – it makes me more informed and allows me to anticipate the team’s needs,” the Business Analyst added. “I think the collaboration enhances everyone’s job and delivers better outcomes for companies.”