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What’s new at The Dunham Group

Lots of new things are happening at The Dunham Group as we grow and implement the Scrum framework for software development.

Scrum Post-It Notes

Lots of new things are happening here at The Dunham Group. A while back we reported that our client AED4Life had installed a new defibrillator at our office. It’s here and hopefully never needs to be used, but if it does need to be used…we are very happy we have it. Russ King at AED4Life has introduced a new product: Allerject, the only epinephrine auto-injector with voice instructions. Soon one or more of these automated epinephrine pens will be in every school and public area. They can save lives in the case of an allergic reaction. Shortly we will have one here at our office. Again, we hope never to use it, but if we need it… we know we can possibly save a life.

On the office front it’s really changing here. We’ve adopted a whole new way of working collaboratively. We call the methodology Scrum. We now have a very large clear plastic board which is full of hundreds of post-it notes. At the beginning of every week, the board is setup with ‘to do’ items. Each large task is broken in many small tasks. When a staff person is ready, they go to the board, choose a task and move it over to the ‘in progress’ area. When the task is done, the note is again moved to the ‘completed’ area of the board. The collaborative portion has to do with all the folks on staff choosing the work that they are feeling competent to do at that moment. It also means that more of our projects are divided into sub-tasks, rather than one person getting bogged down with a huge project. The projects move more quickly and more accurately as a result.

We are also working in ‘iterations’ now rather than ‘waterfall methodology’. When we develop a website for our clients, they will see the first iteration as soon as it is ready. That iteration will be a full working site, posted in a secure area on the internet. Clients can then go over this working site and see what’s right and what’s wrong. We then much more quickly develop the second iteration and for larger sites perhaps a third. The result is a much faster and more accurate production of your website. What took weeks under our new methodology can now take much less time. It is also a much more rewarding experience for the client to see the first iteration, rather than bits and pieces.

We’re also undergoing some staff changes and growth here at TDG. Once the dust has settled, we’ll tell you a bit about the staff changes.

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