To be Agile and have the best practices in place for your team, you first need to have the right mindset and techniques. In other words, you need to think with the Agile methodology. Learning and understanding the Agile Manifesto and its principles and incorporating them into your Agile practices is a good place to start.
So below are a few more things to consider to truly understand the Agile Methodology: hi
Is your project suited for Agile?
Being able to identify which projects are good fits for Agile versus those that are not will be key in determining your success with that project. Generally, projects with tight deadlines, high complexity based on functions and features that need building and ‘one-of-a-kind’ projects are more suited for Agile.
The right people in place help build strong foundations
Having the right people on your team to fill necessary roles such as scrum masters, product owners, project managers, business analysts and more is important. Agile teams in small businesses may not have all roles filled compared to agile teams in large organizations. It is also possible that in small businesses, team members may wear multiple hats and perform multiple roles. However, bringing the right team together based on the company’s vision, goals and strategy is an essential step in setting the right Agile foundations to be successful in projects.
Do you know the lifecycle of your development project?
Understanding the lifecycle of an Agile project and being able to work through it is another important foundation to have. For example, if you are doing Scrum, then you will need to understand what the lifecycle of a Scrum project looks like. This usually involves a product backlog, prioritizing the requirements in the backlog, a sprint backlog, sprint tasks that make up 2 or 4-week sprints, daily stand-ups, sprint reviews, retrospectives and planning the next sprint.
Quality is the focus
You’ve probably heard of the iron triangle when it comes to the standard waterfall method of handling projects where the scope is fixed at the peak of the triangle, followed by budget and schedule. Well, in Agile that triangle is turned upside down and in the center the most important aspect is quality. In Agile, the focus is on producing quality, working software. Budget and schedule are at the top and the scope is at the bottom since it will change as product features are prioritized and mapped out. This will make it easier to develop a product to market since changes in features can be quickly adapted. Setting a good Agile foundation will require mapping the iron triangle to it based on the decisions and goals that are necessary for your business.
Control your workflow
In Agile, to deliver means you need to get to done. In order to do this, everyone needs to have a clear definition and agreement on what done means. The more uncertainty there is in a project, the more controlled processes and workflow need to be. Therefore, having the right processes in place will help you be successful in your project. As a result, the three stages of controlling workflow are defined process control, statistical process control and empirical process control (used when there is very high uncertainty in a project).
We’ve only touched the bare surface of the foundations you need in Agile to truly be successful with it. We urge you to look at some of the references we have listed below and to truly do the research necessary to make sure you have a solid foundation before switching your business and projects over to Agile.
Agile Foundations – getting to Done. (2015, December). Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.udemy.com/a3d-a501-agile-foundations1/
Agile42. (n.d.). Process Control. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.agile42.com/en/agile-info-center/agile-process-control/
Ambler, S. (n.d.). The Agile System Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Retrieved September 20, 2017, from http://www.ambysoft.com/essays/agileLifecycle.html#ConceptPhase
Atlassian. (n.d.). The iron triangle of planning The Agile Coach. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.atlassian.com/agile/agile-iron-triangle
Measey, P. (2015, March). Agile Foundations – Principles, practices, and frameworks [Book]. Retrieved September 22, 2017, from https://www.safaribooksonline.com/library/view/agile-foundations-/9781780172545/
Wick, A. (2017, July 26). Agile Requirements Foundations. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.lynda.com/Project-Management-tutorials/Agile-Requirements-Foundations/580638-2.html