Beer and Cream Cheese Agile Methodology Revisited

by Joanna Pineda Posted on September 29, 2010

Just over a year ago, I blogged about how the MatrixMaxx team was using an agile software methodology we’ve dubbed “beer and cream cheese.”

MatrixMaxx is Matrix Group’s Web-based association management software (AMS) that is used by dozens of trade associations and professional societies to manage their membership applications and renewals, meeting registrations, committee rosters, tradeshows, sponsorships, foundation fundraising, e-mail lists, and publication sales.

Beer and cream cheese is the software development methodology we came up with after exploring several agile methodologies, including SCRUM.  While there are many flavors of agile development methods, most are characterized by:

We call our methodology beer and cream cheese because about 18 months ago, Tanya, the MatrixMaxx Director, posted to one of the SCRUM message boards, asking if anyone had experience with having the same person be the ScrumMaster AND the Product Owner.  One ScrumMaster sarcastically remarked, “You CAN do it, but that would be like combining beer and cream cheese.”

Fast forward one year.  The MatrixMaxx team is still using beer and cream cheese, but our process has changed, and for the better.

We plan to refine our beer and cream cheese process even more over the next year by:

BTW, we still hold beer and cream cheese parties where staff bring in baked goods made with beer and cream cheese.  My favorite this year was the dark chocolate cupcakes made with beer and topped with cream cheese frosting. Yum!

How about you?  What software development methodology does your company use?  Are you an agile shop?  What’s working for you?  And how did you select the methodology that you are using?

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