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How We Work

Curious about what kind of practices we use in our daily work? Or what kind of mindset we’re looking for? Then wonder no longer.

The name Software Innovation gives some of it away: we enjoy dealing with working conditions that revolve around experimentation and uncertainty. In the world of agile business we’re “Pioneers”: we explore new concepts that may fail but keep pushing us in the right direction.

Here, we work with new and exciting concepts that make future success available. For us, it’s important to explore new ground and try out new things - which is all reflected in the ways we work. Read on to get a more thorough look into the ways and practices we use in our daily work.

Wanna see what an AR Hackathon looks like? (Video: Marte Lien Leangen / Torstein Lund Eik)

Agile Frameworks

One of Software Innovations defining factors is the fact that we’re agile. Basic agile techniques are based on having an iterative and time-boxed approach towards delivery.

We work closely together in teams with daily stand-up meetings, sprints and retrospectives. We're focused on constantly improving, early testing and continuous learning.

Each of our teams make their own decisions on how they want to organize themselves. We’re open to change on the journey towards the best product for the users and always prioritizing what to deliver.

We work closely with research departments but also with other projects and business areas.

Working in smaller teams with clear responsibilities and in shorter iterations helps lower risks. It also creates an entirely different feeling of satisfaction and mastery - in addition to making the workday a lot more fun.

Scrum Sprints

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Our teams often work in Scrum Sprints: short time-boxed periods when a team works to complete a set amount of work. This lets us deliver working software frequently and respond to change over following a plan, a key component of agile work.

Kanban

Seeing is believing, which is why we use Kanban boards in our project development. This means we display our to-do lists and work items visually on a kanban board, allowing all of our team members to see the state of every piece of work at any time. It’s simple to improve flow by getting an overview of what’s being done - or still needs to be done.
 

Minimum Viable Product

A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in Software Innovation is the simplest form of a tool that still gives the user value. Using an app as an example, it can mean that an early version lets the user submit a simple form even though a lot more functionality is planned. Having a working app with even the most basic form of functionality can open the users or developers eyes to further improve the app.

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The next generation of Instagram celebrities or techies testing their latest app?

Fail Fast

We don’t see a problem with failing in early stages of development if it helps push us in the right direction. Was the technology you tried not the best fit? Maybe the first design was a bad one? Then no problem - take it as a learning opportunity and move on. After all, failing is how we learn and can keep on moving forward.

Improve Yourself

In order to have the best minds we need to let them challenge themselves and explore new technology. Which is why all of our SI employees can spend up to 20% of their working hours on gaining new competence. We put our money where our mouth is - if you want to learn and grow, we’ll let you do it.

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Design Thinking

Design thinking is a method to find solutions to a problem by using various approaches to explore and reach a specific goal. When we design software, whether it’s for use offshore or in our offices, we put the user in focus by using the 5 steps of design thinking (see below). This can mean following the users around on land or flying our developers out to a platform. This way of working is a journey that can involve taking a couple of steps back in order to take a big leap forward.

5 Stages of Design Thinking

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User Experience

We don’t create solutions or write code for our own good - we do it for the user. User experience is all about making solutions work in a user context - some call it "human-centered design". In business language we here work towards the “how”.

One way of doing it is through focusing on actual behavior, designing, testing and a short feedback loop - letting the user give us their thoughts and ideas which we can build further upon. Their feedback and ideas help us move the project forward and the process is very iterative and human-centered.
 

Open Source

Knowing that others can inspect and look at our code helps us do better work. This is one of the reasons why we try to do as much work as possible open source. We also use a lot of open source tools available and figure that we should return the favor when we can. As we all know, sharing is caring and the open source core values are values to live by:

Open Source Core Values

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Open Exchange

Collaborative Participation

Rapid Prototyping

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Transparency

Meritocracy

Community-Oriented Development

Cloud

Sticking our heads in the clouds isn’t a negative thing. All of our data is heading into the cloud using Microsoft Azure, which means that daily operations and setup of our services is a whole lot simpler. We have enormous amounts of data available and the cloud also makes sharing and accessing data much easier.

Photo of a man wearing protective gear and Microsoft Hololens glasses while making hand gestures in the air on an offshore oil rig
Developers testing their own solutions in offshore conditions at Johan Sverdrup. (Photo: Harald Wesenberg/Equinor)

Innovation

If you have a great idea that can be a great asset for Equinor, it can become reality. Take our HoloLens team for example: it all started with one enthusiastic and dedicated employee.

When Microsoft launched the mixed reality glasses in the US on a limited scale, we got the first set of glasses outside the U.S. We actually had a kit in our office before Microsoft’s own Norwegian office!

This eager employee’s willingness and interest led to a major project using HoloLens technology. Our people are always looking for new ideas and solutions that might be a good fit for us.

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