I noticed a common theme during the Agile 2011 Conference. While helping to work the VersionOne booth in my official role as part of the illustrious booth babe team, there were many compliments on the new UI, inquiries about coveted tickets for the VersionOne Speakeasy party and delighted squeals from those who won at the roulette table.
Beyond that, though, I heard repeated requests for one thing: flexibility.
“We have a couple of small teams, but they operate differently. One does Scrum and the other Kanban.” – a group looking to move beyond their whiteboards
“We need better grouping than is offered by a mere collection of tags. Do you have anything this allows for a structured classification of items?” – current users of a competitors product
“Do you integrate with ‘Y’? We use that internally, so it’s really important for us.” – virtually everybody
“We have X-thousand people and need a method to track progress at a high level while delivering features across multiple projects and teams working across the globe.” – multi-national financial company
Check. Check. Check. And Check.
It was great to hear input from current and prospective customers while receiving the affirmation of a product that, while maybe not yet perfect, was definitely way down the right path ahead of the competition. I know I often take for granted the flexibility offered by such features as Epics, Feature Groups, Goals and Programs within the product as well as a RESTful API and open source integrations. It’s really eye-opening to see the surprised smiles and look of wonder coming from those who are not (yet) quite so lucky.
Don’t worry, though. Given our conversations, I think many of those who stopped by will be experiencing that flexibility real soon. In fact, you can bet on it.