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Zomato — An Agile Approach to add new features.

Updated: Aug 24, 2021

“You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety.” – Abraham Maslow

Zomato is an Indian restaurant aggregator and food delivery start-up, servicing more than 10,000 cities across 24 countries. Founded by Deepinder Goyal and Pankaj Chaddah in 2008, the company provides information, menus and user-reviews of restaurants as well as food delivery options from partner restaurants in select cities through their extremely user-friendly App and website.( Source- Wiki) Consumers use Zomato to discover, rate and review restaurants, as well as create their own personal network of foodies for trusted recommendations.

Zomato has expanded its offerings to table reservations, a white label platform, and recently entered the grocery delivery segment amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, by quickly scanning the market and making product changes using the AGILE methodology. Lets start with understanding the AGILE Methodology: The AGILE Methodology is a project management approach that is utilized in software/product development. It uses incremental, iterative work sequences (commonly known as sprints) to assist teams in responding to the unpredictability of continuous improvement in product software. As a practice, AGILE promotes continuous iteration and incremental development throughout the software/product life-cycle. In this methodology, the customer has an early and frequent opportunity to review and suggest changes to the product. In Agile, the entire product is broken down into small parts and recorded in a Product Backlog. Each part is developed by a team in a sprint, and at the end of each sprint a working increment/iteration is added to the software. There are multiple such sprints that happen throughout the software development life cycle. A sprint includes design, development, testing and deployment of the new feature. AGILE ‘s iterative approach with incremental changes helps in early release of the trial product, for better stakeholders’ feedback. The feedback is used to review the project priorities and make changes to the requirements, functionalities, estimations, plans, resources, etc. as required. This iterative software development approach allows for instant feedback at multiple levels of the product development process. Incremental software development allows the team to stagger the release of features, depending on the value they provide to the customers. Benefits of Agile Method By using this method, a business essentially eliminates the chances of absolute project failure. Working in sprints from the very beginning allows teams to develop a working product from the beginning, or fail fast and take another approach. Implementation of Agile at Zomato Let’s understand Agile Scrum approach for addition of three important features of the Zomato App:

  1. Restaurant Ratings

  2. Search Filters

  3. Online Ordering

Scrum framework is one of the Agile Methodology which is widely used in Software/Product industry.

Step 1 - Product Features Catalog :

To get started with the agile development process, product team will first ideate on the features to be added, and the design is finalized with the help of UX team. Development team shares their views with the product owner on the time needed and shares the plan on the tasks that can be completed in the defined two weeks period. A product catalog with product requirement document, product road map and product backlog is created.

Step 2 - User Stories :

Once the the product catalog is ready with the features, product team divides each of the themes into user stories, with acceptance criteria defined, using the standard user story format.The product owner meets both scrum team and user to develop an Epic and User stories.

Step 3 - Sprint Planning & Execution

A sprint cycle for 2 weeks is used for development which will comprise of following processes: a) Sprint Planning: At the start of each sprint, team will choose what all user stories can be taken up by them. All the chosen user stories will be moved to Sprint Backlog from product backlog. b) Daily Stand-up: As the name suggests, team will meet for 15 minutes every day and discuss updates, progress and roadblocks’ if any. c) Sprint Demo/Review: At the end of sprint, product owner will review the incremental product developed by team during the current sprint and will make the ‘go’ and ‘no-go’ decision. The working software (version 1) is delivered which is working live in a sprint and user can get access to look at what’s happening in application development.

Step 4 - Product Release :

At the end of sprint, if any story is not completed, it goes back into the product backlog. It’s then up to the product owner to decide the priority of these user stories. Collaborating ideas from the team members and possible feedback from the clients, features are refined (added/deleted). Post refinement of actual features in an iterative manner, a shippable product is ready to be released. (version 2) Requirements cannot be fully collected at the beginning of the software development cycle, therefore continuous customer or stakeholder involvement is very important.

Step 5 - Sprint Retrospective :

Once the sprint is over, team will gather up again and discuss about ‘what went well’ and ‘what could be improved’. Scrum team: Scrum team is a small size team of 7±2 members. The team has a scrum master, Product owner, and developers or scrum team members. Scrum team members are called as developers irrespective of the role like a tester, designer, developer etc.

To summarize — Agile development methodology attempts to provide many opportunities to assess the direction of Zomato app throughout the product development life cycle. Throughout the product life cycle, every tiny aspect of new development requirement, (UX design, interface etc.) is continuously revisited. The end goal is to ensure that the team’s work doesn’t wind upon a shelf and gets released in time, while preserving the product’s critical market relevance. The iterative agile approach is flexible with its short time-span iterations seek improvement for the project in small releases, with minimal planning, rather than long drawn plans. This helps to minimize the overall risk, and allows the project to adapt to changes more quickly. The results of this “inspect-and-adapt” approach to development greatly reduces both development costs and time, and therefore is quite popular amongst both the developers as well as all the stakeholders’. Sources :

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