3 Ways to Make Agile Work for You
Agile is a great approach to development, and here is how to ensure your shift to agile is a success
In 2001, several brilliant minds working within technology met to discuss the future of software development. The conversation gradually developed into a document, commonly referred to as ‘The Agile Manifesto’. The manifesto was developed with one goal in mind – streamline the development process. Since the initial document was created, Agile has become standard industry terminology to describe processes that are lightweight, flexible, rapid changing and collaborative.
An agile approach has many benefits for an organization. Agile environments are more responsive to shifting priorities. A team using Agile may be able to adapt to resource constraints with less impact. Products designed with an Agile approach may be closer to the customer’s requirements; living up the ‘under promise, over deliver’ mantra. While any company should feel comfortable implementing an Agile strategy, there are several skills that can make the transition a smooth one. Here are three that should be considered.
Align on the Approach to Communication
As teams embark on the Agile journey, it’s important that communication is clear and transparent. Part of collaboration in Agile is the ability to share ideas among all levels without red tape. Things move fast (usually 2 week sprints) so having a good representation of the work in progress can eliminate confusion and align priorities. Using a tool like Team Foundation Server, Jira or Trello is a good place to start for new teams.
Choose One Methodology
As a project management tool, there are several variants of ‘Agile’. While the fundamental approach is standard, each organization can pick and choose the tools to use. Making the determination between daily scrums, Kanban boards, Story points, etc. should happen early on in the process to help shift the culture to an Agile mindset. Often sharing best practices among teams can provide feedback on what approach is most beneficial.
In traditional project management, having a sponsor is crucial for success. Likewise, in Agile having participation from product owners will help drive teams to deliver the right products the right way. Collaborating between lines of business makes sure all parties are involved in decision making, allowing requirements to be met without any surprises at the last minute.
These are only a couple of the considerations you should make as you begin your journey down the agile path.