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Development at hello energy: build cycles & quality time in ‘Shape Up’ agile framework

The brand new hello energy development team is excited to get to work on the development of our software. We use a framework called ‘Shape Up’. It allows time for building software in ‘Build Cycles’, and reserves time for improving the quality of our features with ‘Quality Cycles’. In this blog, you can read all about our transition from outsourcing development to taking charge of our product in-house.

The brand new hello energy development team is excited to get to work on the development of our software. We use a framework called ‘Shape Up’. It allows time for building software in ‘Build Cycles’, and reserves time for improving the quality of our features with ‘Quality Cycles’. In this blog, you can read all about our transition from outsourcing development to taking charge of our product in-house.

The hello energy development team works with a dark horse agile framework called ‘Shape Up’. The Shape Up method describes the specific processes used by the product development team to shape, deploy, and build meaningful product features. It gives teams specific techniques to address the risks and unknown factors at each stage of product development with the ultimate goal of shipping a great product on time.

Shape Up works with so-called “cycles” for development. These are usually a little bigger than your standard 2-3 week sprint in the well-known Scrum framework. At hello energy, we work with six-week cycles. These cycles consist of two parts, a Build Cycle and a Quality Time.

The first part is the Build Cycle. This is where we have an absolute focus on development. We will develop new features or change existing features over a period of 4 weeks. Within this Build Cycle, one rule applies: no disruptions are allowed and 100% of the time is reserved for product development. The goal of the Build Cycle is to finish and release a piece of work. To ensure we will be releasing we work with a fixed time and a variable scope. This means that we might change the scope of the work within our build cycle to ensure that we will be able to release something meaningful.

The Quality Cycle is, as you might expect, all about the quality of our product. We use these two weeks as a cool-down period from the previous Build Cycle. We work on minor adjustments, technical improvements, code refactoring and general maintenance.

We believe that this way of working will help us to focus on gradually expanding our product experience. By dedicating time to focus, we will be creating a better hello energy every Build Cycle. And with that, we will support our customers on their journey to create energy-positive buildings.

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