You’ve finally committed to adopting an agile methodology within your company. Now what?
Some businesses may find that they follow Agile loosely, bringing less effective results and frustration. Other companies may drift back to their old way of project management and development.
Just think—do you want to spend months and months creating a VCR when the market is buying Smart TVs? Probably not. This is why you need and want Agile to work after you’ve implemented it. You don’t want to waste time and money producing something no one will want.
So what can you and your team do to ensure that Agile sticks after the implementation process? Let’s get into it.
What systems should be put into place right away?
After you’ve implemented agile, be sure to consider these four things:
Try not to sway from Agile’s foundation. Aim to become an expert at whatever stage you’re at before evolving to the next stage. Know that Scrum has a variety of stages, so it’s definitely possible to grow and adapt to new methods, but do your best to get comfortable before you move on to a more advanced level.
A viable metrics solution
It’s difficult to succeed without applying metrics to project management. However, it’s important to note that Agile metrics focus more on the wants and needs of the customer rather than measuring how much your team does. There are three different types of metrics that your team may want to consider:
This metric focuses on how you organize your overall workflow. What do you want to place the most value on? Which task should come first?
With lean metrics, you place more of an emphasis on cycle and lead time. You will look to get rid of useless, time-wasting activities.
This one asks you to focus on estimating when you’ll get your product to your customers.
For Agile to work, you need to collaborate and communicate with everyone, from company leaders to clients. Ensure that everyone believes in the system.
CEO of Agile Worx, and author of Metagility, Dr. David A. Bishop, says, “Company leaders must publicly and continually express their support and buy-in for the process. Executive-level support is critical.”
Another aspect of communication? Make sure everyone knows and understands their role! People want to feel like a key element of the process.
Also, it’s vital to remember that client communication during the product-making process is a major part of Agile. Constant client communication allows you to unveil your work in smaller batches and make adjustments as you go, which is much better than working months on a project that they don’t even like.
A system for requirements management
Just because Agile enables flexibility doesn’t mean you can adopt a lackadaisical product development schedule.
Some companies believe that you don’t need to estimate when the project will finish once you’ve implemented Agile, but that’s not true. It’s still essential to estimate when you’ll finish the smaller tasks within the whole project. If you haven’t completed the task by your predicted date, spend some time breaking down the project into smaller segments.
Remember to always look to complete the tasks with the highest value first!
What does it take to maintain an agile culture?
Bishop says: “If Agile culture is not maintained, it is because the teams don’t feel comfortable with it—which usually stems from lack of understanding.” What can you do to ensure that your workplace understands Agile?
For Agile to work, everyone needs to be on the same page. You can’t just chuck your employees into a Scrum master class and hope that it will teach them everything they need to know.
What can you do? Your team has to work together to make sure everyone understands the new methodology. Just remember that a major part of Agile is collaboration and communication, so there’s no harm in practicing these two traits during the implementation process.
Be sure to check in with your employees to make sure they know the foundation and the basics of Agile before going forward.
What should you do to make sure you find a firm that helps Agile stick?
First things first—it’s essential to hire the right consulting firm to guide your transformation to Agile. You want to employ experts from a renowned, reliable company. Try to find partners who complete their own research and compose viable articles. Real experts will publish articles and speak about their craft constantly. You may be tempted to hire a big firm with a well-known logo, but they may not give you the right amount of attention or provide you with an efficient plan as well as a smaller company could.
More often than not, big firms provide you with a list of recommendations rather than layout an actual plan on how to implement Agile. Keep in mind that with Agile, the goal is to provide real value to your customers by communicating and working together as a team. Therefore, after you’ve properly implemented Agile, you should aim to work towards ensuring everyone is on board—that everyone understands the new methodology.
How soon will you notice a difference after implementing Agile?
You’ll notice the differences almost immediately—beginning with a better team dynamic. Agile enables everyone to feel more involved in the product-making process, helping to boost team morale. If your employees feel more like robots than human beings, the desire to succeed will drop. Agile promotes the opposite effect.
Overall, you’ll notice that products or features will be available within weeks rather than months. Remember that this methodology originated in software development, which followed principles that enabled teams to work on several projects at once. As a result, software teams could release products out into the market at an effective rate. And now this methodology has been adapted to various markets.
Therefore, once you’ve implemented Agile, you should notice a shift in how your team collaborates with one another and the client. After you’ve adopted Agile, you need to make sure it works—you need to hire the right firm, and take time to ensure your team understands, believes, and loves the new methodology. As a result, you’ll find that your productivity will increase, allowing you to stay ahead of the competition.