Easy Agile is the team behind a number of apps to help drive customer-centric product development and collaborative planning. We love their commitment to helping teams adopt agile methodology and work better together, so we decided to get to know them better for our December Marketplace Partner Spotlight! Here's what we learned from Dave Elkan, an Atlassian alum and co-founder of Easy Agile:
Atlassian: How was Easy Agile started?
Easy Agile was founded by Nick Muldoon and myself (Dave Elkan), both Atlassian Alumni.
In late 2015 we relocated our young families to Wollongong, South of Sydney in Australia and started a company together called Arijea (later renamed to Easy Agile)
What better place to start a company than within the Atlassian ecosystem! We looked at different product options and eventually launched our first version of Easy Agile User Story Maps in late March 2016.
Dave and Nick with Reese Gibbons at Atlassian Summit, San Jose, 2016
A: What's your role there?
D: Co-Founder and Co-CEO. I also look after our Engineering team. They like to joke that it’s a good thing that I don’t get the chance to code as much as I used to...
A: What's your favorite thing about working at Easy Agile? What’s your favorite team ritual?
D: We now have a team of 30 people and I love the culture we have built. Working and living next to the beach in Australia means we have beautiful summers. I enjoy bumping into the team at the beach and going out to eat at restaurants to celebrate team milestones.
My favourite ritual is our morning team huddle. We all get on the one Zoom call at 9am each morning and speak to two things:
It’s amazing what we’ve learned about our team from these two questions. We have surfers, parents, gardners, gamers, golfers… so many great things to talk about which really helps make it a personally rewarding place to work.
Team Easy Agile doing a virtual Terrarium class
A: How does your team come up with ideas for new apps?
D: It’s quite simple: we talk to our customers.
Our customers are living and breathing the success and challenges of their agile teams. All we need to do is listen to them with empathy and focus on how to make their lives easier.
In 2018 our enterprise customers were telling us they needed a way to scale agile planning. That’s why we built Easy Agile Programs (PI Planning & SAFe).
A: Think back to when you were developing your flagship app - did you see yourself here now? What do you think has been the secret to your success so far?
D: Our flagship app is Easy Agile User Story Maps for Jira (Sprint Planning & Story Mapping).
We had no idea that it would become so popular. It was a mixture of luck and hard work. Early on we took customer feedback and support seriously and really built a product that would help agile teams with sprint planning and team collaboration.
The secret sauce is customer focus and a dedicated team.
A: Tell us about your most popular app. Why do customers love it?
D: Customers love Easy Agile User Story Maps because it turns your flat native Jira backlog into a customer-focused grid.
The Story Map helps you do sprint planning with the team and literally get every stakeholder on the same page.
Flat backlogs are like shopping lists, it’s hard to navigate.
Our customers prefer the Story Map because they can run custom sprint planning sessions easily. Drag and drop prioritisation and saved views help save time and let the team get back to doing the important work.
A: Do you have any new apps or projects you want us to know about?
D: We just released a new video case study where we talk to our friends (and customers) at Lyft about how Easy Agile User Story Maps helped their teams boost velocity by 20%. You can watch and read the story here: https://www.easyagile.com/blog/lyft-case-study/
Maggie Norby AdamsAtlassian Team
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