Take a walk around Railinc any morning and you'll see product teams meeting at glassboards plastered with multicolored sticky notes. These notes are a key element of the Agile software development methodology and provide a low-tech way to track the high-tech work that happens at Railinc.
Look deeper and the notes will tell the story of how we develop our products, how we learn from and work with our customers, and how we meet the technology needs of the freight rail industry. Here on our blog, we will pull out a snippet of that story in the form of a single sticky note. We'll tell you what's behind the words that are on it and give you a little insight into the work our people do every day to serve the freight rail industry.
Here at Railinc, these notes include information on everything from user stories and quality assurance checks to tasks in progress and tasks completed. Even though Agile is a cornerstone of Railinc's culture, the ways our teams use sticky notes are unique to each product group. Some use sticky notes to capture their tasks. Others focus on user stories. One team incorporates index card-sized printouts from a third-party Agile software that Railinc uses to track the progress of product development.
"The value the sticky notes is in the visibility," says Jose Solera, Railinc's director of enterprise services and our resident Agile evangelist. "With the notes, teams can see where they are in a project. They are easy to write and move around as things change. They're also a good way to prompt conversations about what's been done and what needs to get done."
—Railinc Corporate Communications