As an early adopter of Agile methodologies, 2PM Services’ Technical Business Analyst, John Robinson, shares his insights into why Agile is just common sense ‘rebranded’.
Being Agile in your work is not about the adoption of processes, but rather a transformation of mindset to do work better.
Doing work in an Agile way has been embraced by the Software Development industry for a long time now. A key milestone in the adoption of Agile by software developers is the creation of the Agile Manifesto in 2001. This Manifesto is the coming together of pre-existing Agile ideas around how software should be developed to be better. It documents values and practices for Agile software development.
Agile is no longer exclusive to the Software Development industry with other industries, businesses and professions now embracing the methodology. Agile has been adopted in manufacturing, construction, and many other industries in areas such as finance, marketing, and even HR.
What is Agile?
The business value of Agile is the improved ability to do the correct work, and also to better predict the timing for completing the work.
In a repeating process, work is completed by the delivery team in a series of iterations, all of which have the same duration.
Work required to be undertaken by an Agile project delivery team is solicited from the various stakeholders and prioritised in a list known as the backlog. For each iteration, the team chooses the next highest priority piece of work required from the backlog, and delivers it over the next one or more iterations. At the completion of an iteration, work is reviewed by the stakeholders and feedback is then given to the project delivery team.
Agile Project Management is the practice of managing Agile projects and encompasses activities such as managing the work in the backlog, breaking down and assigning work to iterations, and assigning individuals to complete the work.
“Let’s be more Agile…”
How many times have you heard “Let’s be more Agile”? Often organisations resolve to become “more Agile” and try to adopt this methodology through:
- A forced, top-down approach
- The creation of ‘Agile delivery teams’/’innovation hubs’
- Adopting a ‘one-size fits all’ approach
The problem with these approaches is they can often result in a lack of organisational buy-in. So how can you effectively embed Agile methods into your culture?
How to get started with Agile
Even if your organisation is not ready or willing to go Agile, there are a few things you can do to reap its benefits. A good place to look for ideas is the Agile Manifesto Values and Principles. Start by adopting some work practices within the project team that embrace the spirit of Agile.
Some practical examples include:
- Ensure the entire project team has a clear understanding of the project goal;
- Adopt daily stand-up meetings for the project team;
- Incorporate ‘mood marbles’ into project meetings;
- Create a ‘Social Contract’ which clearly outlines expected team behaviours;
- Showcasing the teams work to the stakeholders for feedback on a regular basis; and
- Adopt a hands-off approach to managing the project team, enabling a culture of creativity and innovation.
Does your organisation need help becoming more Agile? Contact the 2PM Services team today!