Agile Development Methodology

Quintagroup works under agile development practices. In our work we value:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
    Development is done in short iterations - instead of running off with the specifications and come back six months later with a system that probably does what the customer needed half a year ago, an agile process relies on frequent communication between customer and supplier.

  • Working software over comprehensive documentation.
    At the end of every iteration a working running system is delivered. Every developed piece of functionality is first done as minimal as possible, then improved in small steps. Thus, there should be no hanging, unusable, not completely done components. Just small components that can be expanded to the intended functionality.

  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
    The customer is invited to plan which features will be worked on in the next iteration after evaluating the previous achievements.

  • Responding to change over following a plan.

Test-driven

During test-driven development the functionality of the software is demonstrated by a set of automated tests. The tests are delivered with the software and the customer is free to run them at any time. The customer is furthermore invited to provide his own set of tests, if desired. Automated tests, in particular unit tests, are a core practice in any agile methodology. Tests make sure we deliver low-defect components. Even more important, they provide the safety-net essential to the ability to evolve the software in the face of changing requirements, so the software can even be refactored or rewritten at a later date with minimal risk of disrupting the running system.

Transparency of Open Source

Every piece of code is open to scrutiny by peers and customers, and frequently also to the public and the Plone community. We normally have automated mails produced from every check-in done to our version control repository, - to mailing lists that customers and fellow developers are subscribed to.

Open Scope Contracts

Open scope contracts are designed to accompany agile software projects. In essence, they attempt to align the interests of customer and supplier, instead of pitching them against each other.

Think of it this way: If the four variables of project management are time, cost, scope and quality. Traditional IT contracts tend to set values for three of them: time, cost and scope. The fourth variable, quality, is left to flap freely in the breeze.

When reality intrudes and a feature turns out to be harder to implement than envisioned, or when requirements change over time, software quality - being the only "variable" - inevitably starts to suffer. Low-quality software however, is neither in the interest of the customer nor of the supplier.

Also, tying scope to cost leads to a situation where the supplier aims to reduce expenses by interpreting the requirements as narrowly as possible, whereas the customer intends to maximize investment by demanding the most generous exegesis of the requirements documentation. Extensive possibilities for controversy ensue.

Lastly, traditional contracts fail to reflect the realities of iterative development methodologies, where the project is allowed to change focus with every iteration.

Now, let's say we use a contract that specifies time, cost and quality, and let scope absorb the uncertainty inherent in every project? We end up with a contract where:

  • Sacrificing software quality on the altar of finishing on time is no longer necessary.
  • Changing requirements (scope) no longer threatens the project.

Open Scope Contracts have a contract model that fits the iterative approach of the development process, and makes the customer and supplier work together — and produce results that are on time, on budget and beneficial for both parties.

Testimonials

It is a pleasure working with the Plone developers at Quintagroup. They are very knowledgeable, efficient, and customer-focused. I have found Plone to be a powerful and user-friendly Content Management System.

August 13, 2013
Robert Loftur-Thun

Wonderful Plone developers. Fast, efficient and very knowledgeable.

August 12, 2013
Jason Atwood

Thanks a lot... I've always appreciated the level of services provided by your company, I'm a big fan and shall continue to advertise your services among my fellow Zope developers!

Nov 30, 2011
Dominique Trembloy

I have used a Plone site environment hosted by Quintagroup to develop a workflow application for my business. Since January 2010 ... I have been a customer of Quintagroup and I am very happy about the good and reliable service, including update of the website to version 4.1 of Plone.

Apr 20, 2011
Maarten de Vries
www.insolweb.info

...I was a very satisfied customer for 7 years. They made sure that my website was always up, even during a couple episodes of being "slashdotted", and fixed the very few problems that I had in record time. This is a very professionally run outfit...

Feb 14, 2011
Mario Butter

http://silent-tower.org

I just want to thank each of you for your work... My business has increased and my anxiety level has been lowered since using Plone...It's been such a pleasure working with a professional and intelligent group like your.

Tom Parish
http://tomparish.com

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