Adam Benson, VP Engineering
November 26, 2013
Agility, speed and performance are central characteristics that company’s like to use to describe their philosophy and culture when it comes to getting things done. At BuildingIQ our aspirations are no different, we are continually striving to embed a culture and development framework within our company that is rapid in execution, reliable in delivery and adaptable to change. Agile is a set of principles and development frameworks used by many organizations around the world to help them embody a culture of performance, results and openness.
To reiterate a couple of the core values of what agile* is about:
- People over process is about facilitating communication on real issues in real time rather than long winded channels and paths.
- Working product over comprehensive documentation
- Responding to change over following a plan
- Customer collaboration over detail requirements and contracts
BuildingIQ is developing a product that will revolutionize how the energy in commercial building space is managed and, in the process, change the customer’s energy spend and reduce its carbon emissions. Our company culture is engrained with the idea of change, we are in a continuous improvement and evolution cycle. Our energy cloud platform is continually digesting and crunching data to better operate and manage buildings. Every software release must build upon and improve from the last, the optimization technology and workflow must not suffer from one release to the next. That is why Agile, and its principles of small incremental changes rather than large big bang releases, is crucial to our successful and stable software rollouts and smooth customer embracement of our technology.
The question is not so much why Agile matters to BuildingIQ but in today’s rapidly changing technology landscapes BIQ has embraced its core principles of openness, continuous improvement, self-discipline and iterative interaction as definitive company values that make us better at what we do. When you take a research product from the labs and embark on its commercialization, there are inevitably going to be challenges. You need a process that seamlessly allows you to react and adjust to those challenges. Agile promotes open communication and close interaction with your customers whether they are internal or external. Our sprints and “retrospectives” embrace efficient, direct and candid openness to deliver the best product for our customers. Product backlog and user stories are groomed and discussed, blockers and showstoppers are immediately raised and resolution quickly achieved. It is engrained to over communicate, to not be shy about asking for more clarification and insight so that a better product and action can be performed.
We are currently on the 3rd generation of our award-winning energy optimization technology and in a very short period of time have taken a research-based product into the commercial world managing over 8 million square feet of building real estate.
Agile helps us move quickly and confidently knowing if we take a wrong turn or the road is blocked our Agile culture and methodologies allow us to adjust and refocus on the lessons we have learnt.
* Agile Manifesto copyright 2001 – Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James Grenning, Jim Highsmith, Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, Dave Thomas.