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How FreshBooks Got Its (Design) Mojo Back

The transformation to Scrum was scary, messy, confusing — even emotional. We had to forget what we knew about building software and take a leap of faith. Truthfully, there were times we weren’t sure we’d come out the other side. But like when Andy Dufresne crawled out of the pipe at the end of Shawshank Redemption, our perseverance paid off.

Software development became collaborative; Product Managers and Developers began working together — no more silos. Software development became iterative; we shipped customer value every single week — no more monolithic projects. […]

We were so focused on figuring out how Agile Scrum could improve the way we build software that we didn’t consider how design fits into this new way of working. Design got left behind.

Figuring out how to ‘fit’ a true creative design flow into the Agile process has been difficult for us to grasp as well. They’ve illustrated a common pitfall very well:

One of the lessons we learned when we moved to Agile Scrum was that there’s no such thing as a purely technical problem, just as there’s no such thing as a purely business problem. Each problem in software development is a bit of both, and solving it therefore demands collaboration and teamwork across disciplines. We completely overlooked this important lesson when we tried to solve our problems with design. This all but guaranteed our inevitable failure.