Pardon my blog blackout; It's been one crazy summer.
In the space of six weeks, i2Integration doubled in size – we're talking staff and revenue. In a three-week period we hired three new rockstar developers, not an easy task when finding a single stellar developer is a once-a-year event at most. We also implemented a new project management system called Jira; and built Agile development into our production process.
How did we double in size? It was kind of the perfect storm. We landed some nationally known new accounts, and some existing projects that had been slowly ramping up over months (and in one case, over a year) were suddenly ready to rock and roll. And a couple clients, who originally contracted with other firms, called us in to rescue their projects. Big fun.
A bit about Jira and Agile: Jira manages everything from code to project and issue tracking. It's become the preferred system for the state of Michigan, and it's also excellent for managing Agile development projects. A year ago one of our clients turned us onto Jira, which just goes to show how much our clients can teach us.
Agile is a development methodology where you work in what are called sprints. Here's a link to an article where we talked a bit about it. Agile has been great for us. It's streamlined production and allows us to focus on a particular project and client in short, dedicated bursts and to schedule work better.
The summer's flurry of activity wasn't without its difficulties, and believe me, everyone in our office felt the bumps. But we made it through. This has forced us, in a good way, to become smarter in our development process and allowed us to turn around work much faster than we had been able to in the past. We're expecting even more growth, and now we have the people and the infrastructure to meet that demand.
The great thing is that because of Jira and Agile, our new staff were able to hit the ground running within their first week, something that would not have happened before this summer's streamlining process.
In 1999, i2Integration was essentially a one-man company when I landed Sparrow Health System. I knew at that moment that everything had just changed. This summer, I have had that feeling again. We have all the pieces in place – the methodologies, the systems and the staff – to turn around more consistent work, faster. For those who felt the bumps yet trusted this process and stuck with us, welcome to a new era.