Crystal Agile Framework: Concept and Advantages

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Agile methodologies have been part of many workgroups which deal with the development and productivity of teams.  For example, we’ve talked about Scrum, probably the most famous agile tool you will find.

However, there are other agile frameworks which you can work within your team, depending on what are your goals and areas of interest. And Crystal Agile Framework is one of these adequated tools that you can apply to the development of tasks.

In this article, you will learn what is Crystal Methodology and what are the main advantages to use it with GitScrum. 

What is Crystal Agile Framework?

Crystal is a family of Agile methodologies, which includes variants such as Crystal Clear (suitable for a team of up to 8 people), Crystal Yellow (suitable for a team with 10 to 20 people), Crystal Orange (for teams between 20 and 50 people) and Crystal Red (for large-scale teams, between 50 and 100 people).

Crystal focuses on principles such as People, Interactions, Community, Skills, Talent, and Communication, making software development run smoothly.

The core of this development process involves the interaction and symbiosis that takes place between the people allocated to projects and processes, to make development effective.

For example, for better interaction among teams, GitScrum’s Rock Star Team enables interactive moves for better effective results.

Crystal Methodology relies on two fundamental reasons:

1) Teams find several ways to improve and optimize their workflows
2) A project is unique and always changing, which is why the project team is best suited to determine how they will handle the work.

Crystal Advantages

It guarantees frequent deliveries, to be able to identify any problems at all stages;
There is always room to improve features, taking some time off software development and allowing discussion on how to improve processes;
Allows close communication and promotes interaction and knowledge sharing between team members;
It requires a technical environment, with automated testing, configuration management, and frequent integration;
Allows teams to work in the way they find most effective;
Facilitates direct communication between team members, promotes transparency and accountability;
The adaptive approach allows teams to respond well to changing demands.

The Crystal family

Crystal’s properties, such as the ability to criticize, change according to the number of people involved in the project.

Smaller teams can build and deliver projects without resorting to a lot of paperwork and reporting. In contrast, bigger teams work on bigger projects, but they need a lot of paperwork, continuous updates, and a lot of communication.

This Crystal family uses different colors to differentiate the importance of the methodology to be used. So we have some examples of colors that are used:

  1. Crystal Clear
  2. Crystal Yellow
  3. Crystal Orange
  4. Crystal Red
  5. Crystal Maroon

1) Crystal Clear
Small teams, size between 1 to 6 people
Supported by fixed prices and no negotiation
It is people-oriented and does not focus on processes and artifacts
Requires documentation
Focus on project safety

2) Crystal Yellow
Small teams, size between 7 to 20 people
Code areas have a clear property. This means that if any changes happen, only the person who owns the code is responsible for it.
Feedback is obtained by real users
Accessible and direct communication
It reduces the need for a lot of documentation, which makes it easier for developers to correctly understand their tasks

3) Crystal Orange
Teams ranging from 21 to 40 people
Project duration can range from 1 to 2 years
Divide teams according to their functional abilities
Incremental development
One delivery is mandatory every 3 or 4 months
Each new version is called an “increment”
Ideal for larger projects

4) Crystal Red
Teams ranging from 40 to 80 people. The teams are formed and divided according to the necessary work and that exists.

5) Crystal Maroon
Teams ranging from 80 to 200 people.
Ideal for large projects
The defined methods are different and according to the software need.

It doesn’t matter what Crystal color you will choose, as long as you use our Board to organize every task from your team and monitor the workflow. Its usage is perfect for different sizes of teams!

Roles and Responsibilities

The fundamental difference between Crystal Clear and other Crystal methods is that in this one there is only one team per project. However, all Crystal methods can include numerous functions.

We can see some, like the Executive Sponsor, the Chief Executive Designer, the Programmer, the User Ambassador, and the Tester. These are the main roles that exist in Crystal. We can mention some sub-functions like Project Coordinator, Business Specialist, Technical Writer, and Business Tester.

All these roles fall into two categories:

Real Roles
1) Executive Sponsor
Allocates or decides the destination of project financing
Creates visibility to the project
It helps the team in making crucial business decisions.
user ambassador

2) Test the final product
You are aware of the complete operating procedure
Knows the entire system is used

3) Main Designer
Must have high experience in software development
Must be able to sense when the project team is on the right track

4) Programmer
It works in partnership with the designer to make the software system since an element who knows how to code or program also knows how to design and vice versa.

Virtual Roles
1) The Coordinator
The Project Manager takes note of project planning and review meetings
Combine the information and present it to Sponsors
Keeps the Project Sponsor informed about the progress of the project and keeps things visible to all team members

2) Business Specialist
You know how the business works
Identify priorities and can highlight tasks
Understand the policies and ensure everyone follows them

3) Technical Writer and Tester
Rotating or temporary paper
The tester is responsible for testing the software, reporting the existence of a bug (if any), and trying to fix the bug first.

Crystal methodology characteristics

Regardless of which Crystal implementation you choose, you’ll find seven key principles in each one:

  1. Frequent delivery: Owners of client projects can expect results from the team every couple of months. On more or more critical projects, deliverables may not go into production, but stakeholders will see the interim versions and be able to provide feedback.
  2. Ongoing Feedback: The entire project team meets regularly to discuss project activities. The team also meets regularly with stakeholders to ensure the project is moving in the expected direction and communicate any new findings that may affect the project.
  3. Constant Communication: Small projects expect the entire team to be in the same room, while larger projects are expected to be co-located in the same facility. All projects expect to have frequent access to the people who define the requirements.
  4. Security: Crystal is unique in its focus on the security aspect of software development. This comes in two forms, one of which is the safe zone for team members to be effective and to communicate the truth throughout the project without fear of reprisal, which is true of most agile methodologies.
  5. Focus: Team members must know two or three priority items and each member must work with time to complete them without interruption.
  6. User Access: Like most agile methods, Crystal expects the project team to have access to one or more users of the system to be built.
  7. Automated Testing and Integration: Crystal has various capabilities for verifying project functionality. Controls must be in place to support versioning, automated testing, and frequent integration of system components.

Should you use Crystal?
The Crystal Method is among the most flexible agile frameworks as it is designed around the people who participate in a project and does not rely on any single set of processes or tools. In this sense, it can be a viable methodology for organizations that want to enable their teams to work in the way they find most effective.

It’s important to keep in mind, however, that as Crystal emphasizes direct team collaboration around the software they’re building — and de-emphasizes the importance of documentation and reporting — this could mean that other teams throughout the organization will have less visibility into the team’s progress.

GitScrum supports your team to better and understandable self-organization!

Set your workflow and board to guide your Agile team, assign Tasks, Subtasks and keep in charge of the whole process evolvements. Allow your Agile team to collaborate.

Reach higher levels of efficiency, productivity, and deliverability with GitScrum. Work focused on prioritizing what’s valuable and tracking your flow to overcome results.

Sign up now and make your team grow together!