If your organisation is relatively new to the Agile methodology, then you can achieve some rapid and easy benefits for your organisational workflow by implementing a number of quick wins.
Focus on Scrum
Firstly, know that Agile is a methodology and school of thought is diverse, often complex and ever-evolving.
One smart move is to avoid getting bogged down in its intricacies and the different schools that influence its adoption and simply focus on getting Scrum right.
Remember, Scrum is a key sub-set of the wider Agile approach, and it offers a lightweight framework of practices that you must follow in order to experience success.
Getting Scrum right will allow you to manage software developments in an incremental, iterative way. Make sure everyone involved has been fully trained in the process framework, understands the sprint framework and understands what is meant by 'roles, artefacts and time boxes'!
Get those daily Scrum meetings booked in
Many organisations love Agile but all too quickly start to fall behind on the discipline of the 15-minute daily Scrum.
Remember, everyone involved in the project needs to be present and ready to discuss:
- their activity since the last daily Scrum meeting
- their plan for the coming day's work
- whether they have any issues to raise for resolution.
Hold the meeting standing up and make sure it is moderated with a note-taker (ideally the project manager) and a clock for timekeeping.
Focus on Agile goals - not rituals
With the exception of the daily Scrum (standup), it helps to avoid getting too hung up on the rituals of Agile.
Focus instead on the bigger goals; that cycle of completing the work, taking feedback on board, planning development of the next iteration and constantly working incrementally to deliver value that meets the client's objectives in an ever closer way.
Focus on Agile's purpose - not the tools
In a similar way, don't get too distracted by the myriad of Agile tools available on the market.
All tools have their limits - even the best ones - so make sure your principles and processes come ahead of any toolset that you do adopt.
Remember, your process shouldn't be tied to the limitations of a prop. Your tools and props will change - but your broader processes remain on track and are your focus at all times.
Agile may be process driven, but this framework allows creativity and innovation when used correctly. Tune your implementation to the way that your organisation works.
Some businesses use different styles for their Kanban board cards.
Some add more Sprint information onto their walls.
Others love printing tickets through API calls - or using a variety of colours for organisation.
Don't be afraid to try new things as your team becomes more confident in using the methodology and identifies opportunities to refine it for your specific needs and way of working.
Last but not least - pin down the definition of what your goals actually are.
This is essential to help you to work backwards with your plan. If your process isn't getting off the ground, refer to your goals and check that they are concrete and defined in detail.
What other tips have you found useful in your Agile journey?