How Salesforce Manages Agile Development (Plus How You Can Too)

Shutterstock_120956236Imagine you are a developer on a team of ten. How do you keep track of all the sticky notes used to show the progress on any one build?

What if you are a manager at a large company and have hundreds of these teams, thousands of projects, and tens of thousands of sticky notes? For years our customers have been asking: How does Salesforce oversee this process?

The big shift happen in 2006, when we switched from a waterfall approach to development, to agile. Our global engineering department had grown substantially and production had slowed. By making the change to small, cross-functional teams and shorter development cycles, productivity increased by 38 percent and major releases were completed 60 percent faster.

From this agile approach came a new tool for managing it, built on Force.com. Called GUS, short for “Grand Unification System,” it took a bunch of separate development organizations, objects, and requirements, and merged them into a single interface everyone could use. GUS is specifically intended to support agile development, thanks to an emphasis on social interactions that take place on a virtual “wall.”

Agile Accelerator

Due to tremendous demand, GUS is now available as Agile Accelerator for all existing Salesforce CRM and Force.com Enterprise customers. With a familiar Salesforce UI, the solution is simple to use and understand. It brings together developer teams and the rest of your organization in one visual place, facilitating collaboration through various production stages.

Developers can use drag and drop tools to take care of every backlog, sprint, build, and theme. New work is easily organized and prioritized. With the Salesforce1 Mobile App built in, projects can be updated from anywhere. Agile Accelerator is socially integrated with Chatter, so a record is kept around every activity and interaction. There’s no need to track emails or remember the details of phone or in-person conversations.

The business can link support tickets to bugs and user stories, and has visibility into what is being built or worked on, when, and if updates are made. Agile Accelerator includes analytics, so all users have custom reporting and real-time tracking available to them on every stage of the development cycle. 

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