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Agile Project Management in German Startups

German-startupsAfter looking into Lithuanian startups and their views on Agile we wanted to compare them with startups from other countries. This time we took on Germany and surveyed startups from various fields asking them what they knew about project management and agile.

While the two surveys yielded similar results in that Agile practices are well known and practiced, there were some key differences as well. Within Lithuanian startups Scrum and Kanban were used by an overall majority of Agile practitioners, while in German startups, they only racked up half of the votes, leaving more space for Scrumban and other methods.

Lithuanian and German startups also found disagreement in the positives and negatives of Agile. One party said that the practice increases team motivation, while other stated the opposite. Time planning, process control and result evaluation were also mentioned – see the full infographic to see how they compared.

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Busyflow Co-Founder & CEO: Our Development Process is “Chaotic Agile”

BusyFlow integrates cloud applications into one dashboard, helping teams collaborate and work together more efficiently. The company works with numerous APIs, codes in Python and has just launched their Android app. We are talking with their CEO Jaro Satkevic on their development process – and how they adjusted it to make developers happier.

Tell us about yourself. What does your company do and what is your role?

I am the CEO and co-founder of BusyFlow. Busy Flow is app that integrates different productivity and collaboration tools, like Dropbox, Trello, BaseCamp, Google Drive and other tools into one workspace where people can see the changes, act on them and collaborate together. I am a co-founder and I manage the developer team.

Are you a developer yourself?

Yes, I am. But at the moment most of the time I am doing other activities in our start-up.

Can you tell us how big is your team? How many people and how is it organised?

At the moment we have four people. We also have two more people related to our company – a designer and an iOS developer – who help us when needed. So actually it is me and three other developers in our team.

Can you tell us about your development process? How does it typically work?

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Draugiem: We Deploy Multiple Times A Day

Draugiem is one of the few social networks that compete with Facebook heads on – and are still winning. We are very lucky to speak today with Ingus Rūķis, their development team lead, about the way development process works at Draugiem.

Tell us about Draugiem. What does your company do and what is your role?

Draugiem is the largest social network in Latvia, we are still ahead of Facebook here. Draugiem was started in 2004 – at the same time as Facebook was started in the United States. We used to have a decent market share in Hungary as well, but we have lost that market and we are currently focusing on Latvian market only. Draugiem has around 500,000 daily active users in Latvia, and probably around 800,000 monthly active users.

I am software development team lead and I have been doing web development for seven years at Draugiem, after which I moved to this management position. I am also responsible for the social gaming part of Draugiem – talking to game developers, making contacts, and so on.

How big is your development team?

The development team is very small. We have historically kept development team under 10 people – we currently have nine developers and two system administrators plus a couple of mobile developers. It is basically the commitment of the people that has taken Draugiem so far. We also do not have separate positions of back-end developers and front-end developers, every developer is doing both front-end and back-end. The only position that is separated is the dedicated C developer, who is only doing the social graph and various other serverside services. Everyone else is multitasking.

Draugiem has been acting quite long as a startup, thus we did not have any project managers, and the team was self-organized and self-directed – the developers used to decide what they want to do and just did it. In the past couple of years, however, we have moved a bit away from the startup culture and introduced a couple of project managers who are working to direct the team.

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Archify’s CTO: Do Not Overmanage Your Project

Today we are talking to Archify - the providers of an awesome personal archiving service – and their CTO Gerald Bäck. The company is based in Berlin, but their team is distributed across the whole Europe – and Gerald shares how they manage their development process.

Tell us about yourself. What does your company do?

I am Gerald, the CTO of Archify. Archify is a company that helps you find things again you have already seen. Let’s say you have read an article on a website, or saw a video somewhere – if you do not exactly remember where you have seen it, it is often very complicated to find it again. Archify can help you with that. We are recording and archiving every website you browse with a screenshot and the full text, and we are also archiving every update in your social stream, including your friends’ updates on Facebook and Twitter. Archify captures all that and makes it searchable for you.

Great. Can you tell us about your development team? How big is it and how is it organized?

Currently we are a team of four – and it is spread all over Europe. Max and me are the founders of the company – and we are based in Berlin. We both still work as developers, as we really enjoy developing. We also have another guy who does front end development and design – he is currently living in Portugal and will join us in Berlin next year. And we have one more developer in Ukraine. Not really a very centralized team.

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