Product Management

Shepherding Good Ideas Through an Agile Development Process

Things at ixo are moving incredibly fast; we’ve come a long way this year and are getting closer to releasing our MVP to the world. While we are incredibly excited to share our hard work, we are first required to undertake significant stress testing of the protocol to minimise room for error. To help with this testing we’ll be launching an invite-only private beta for our closest supporters who will be considered for exclusive membership when ixo goes live.

Read on and find out about our approach to achieving the goals we’ve set out.

Product Management

To make any great idea a reality, the idea needs an owner who can shepherd it through a development process.

This is the role of the Product Owner (PO) who provides the vision and the milestones which need to be reached in order to fulfill that vision. The Product Owner consults various stakeholders to define the vision and what is required from a holistic perspective. Products built in an agile manner allow for incremental development, overseen by the PO. While the PO’s vision may be big and encompass many different pieces of functionality, they need to ensure the team can start building value towards the vision through prioritisation of the Minimal Viable Product (MVP). The Product Owner does this using many tools and techniques, the Story Map is just one of these.

Story mapping is a top-down approach of requirement gathering and is represented as a tree. It starts from an overarching vision which is achieved through reaching goals. Goals are reached by completing activities. And to complete an activity, users needs to perform tasks. These tasks can be transformed into user stories for software development.

What is most compelling about this methodology is that you never lose the view of your whole tree. Along with this, anyone can be walked through the tree, as well as add to the tree and check progress in line with any specific process within the structure of the tree.

Development Methodology

We are an agile development shop. We are NOT agile purists. There is an arsenal of valid process that can be used to to get a job done. We mainly use SCRUM and Kanban, and use JIRA and physical walls for planning and progress tracking, including the creation of the ixo story map. The story map depicts the current committed plan and a view of future releases of the platform. This helps us negotiate what features to bring in to the development process and when.

Engineering Practices

We are in essence an XP shop, use Extreme Programming practices like mob and pair programming to help everyone be on the same page and to ensure quality. We are evolving and looking towards our future state with more developers and public participation and excited at the prospects of future development practices with this level of engagement.

Main elements

Our Minimal Viable Product and as such our development efforts revolve around 4 main areas:

  • UX/UI (User Experience and User Interface design)
  • Elysian (ixo Project Data Store)
  • ixo Blockchain (The Blockchain for Impact)
  • Credential Manager (Verification and Authentication)

So where are we today?

All our efforts are focused on being production ready with our MVP features by the end of July 2018. There are may other awesome features that are in the pipeline, but our focus is on our MVP release.

UX/UI Interface Mockups

UX/UI — The look and feel has been implemented and the quality of what is going out is testimony to the time and effort that has been put in these elements. We are putting in the final touches and will iterate with the relevant feedback.

Elysian— Is up and running and can handle one or many projects in the same data store. So MVP ready.

ixo Blockchain — Is working using real world tokens. So this too is MVP ready.

Credential Manager — Working and integrated with Sovrin. MVP ready.

What next?

Once the ixo ecosystem is up and being used in its MVP form, we will continue with our next set of features from our Story Mapping tree.

Donovan Risk, Alta Nel and Cedric Franz discussing & prioritising items on the ixo Story Map

We are eager to engage with and will have plenty of capacity to work with user feedback and add those prioritised needs to our living Story Map to include in future releases. We will also start building extensions to accommodate some of what some of our key ambassadors need in order to get the most out of our ecosystem as well as building on and continuing to strengthen the foundation of the protocol.

We should have the closed Beta in place by the end of August 2018.

Join the Community

Learn more about ixo and how to get involved at