6 Things You Need to Know Before Implementing Agile

Agility holds the key to businesses becoming "champions”. It is now known for a fact that, the businesses survive and thrive have one thing in comment: the ability to be agile. But why is it so important?

Lena Software

02 Oct 2020
agile development change request management

6 Things You Need to Know Before Implementing Agile

Agility holds the key to businesses becoming "champions”. It is now known for a fact that, the businesses survive and thrive have one thing in comment: the ability to be agile. But why is it so important? The answer is simple: it’s effective, it surely works, and it works very effectively. So, if you are thinking about taking your place in champions’ league by implementing agile in your workplace, here are 5 things you need to know.

  1. Implementing agile is not just a buzzword

We started hearing the term “agility” in business very often nowadays. Everybody is talking about it. Startups, new organizations also the well-established ones. It’s literally became one of those buzzwords and it is perceived as a simple vocabulary change. But in fact, implementing agile in today’s world requires much more than that.

It is quite easy for an organization to look as if they are agile. Some businesses might have heard that adopting “Agile” is a piece of cake. Call your projects epics, claim your meetings are stand-ups, and name your to do lists backlogs… and there you go – you are an agile organization. Is that so? Well, not really.

  1. Implementing agile is about embodying "we" rather than “I."

Agile isn’t about terminology, and it isn’t even about the particular approaches it describes. Agile, is a method to ensure the business and development team work together, create strong relationships with great communication and respect. It’s about collaboration which is a cornerstone of any Agile methods and including every stakeholder to the project. In agile organizations teams operate in rapid learning and decision-making cycles.

So, what value do all these add to the businesses? You can call it increased productivity, reduced development time, happy employees, successful businesses, satisfied customers. You name it.

That’s it. That’s agile.

Implementing agile is about implementing a mindset in the organization.

It’s about transforming organizations from static, siloed, structural hierarchies and taking them to a new world of operating model where teams think together, with the users in mind. Call it your “team”, or “squad” or “avengers”. There is one thing that takes your organization to the next level which is embodying "we" rather than “I."

  1. Plan to Win: Implementing Agile requires planning – the question is how

One common misconception about Agile is that it involves little to no planning. Some might see Agile being a managed chaos method and it is actually. However, while many people focus on the chaos, professionals know that the most important thing to focus is on the managed side. In fact, any Agile project requires as much planning, if not more, than traditional project management.

The main difference is, in Agile, the planning is more of a living document that evolves over time and is expected to mature as the project moves forward.

In traditional methods of project management, there is a planning stage, which takes place before project kickoff. With Agile, the planning is a synchronized process with the project. Agile isn’t just constant delivery, it is also continuous planning. Agile planning is more focused on answering the questions, thinking about what needs to be built, when it needs to be completed, how much will it cost, and who from the team needs to be involved. 

Remember, the scope will change throughout the project as change is inevitable. So, when implementing agile, make sure that project planning remains front and center in your focus.

No matter where you are on your agile journey, here is a good tip for implementing agile. The key to long term agile planning is keeping your project details and task estimates in sync with your roadmap. Think of the continuous delivery and planning as two sides of the same coin. In every delivery you make, you then consider all the changes and fixes that needs to be done. And then you plan it out which takes you to delivery leads and that again takes you to a new planning.

  1. Documentation in Agile:  get things done with “just enough” documentation

Documentation is a part of every Agile project. It’s crucial for all the Agile projects to have a good documentation done on every step of the journey. Agile is holistic in nature and it encourages “just enough” documentation. That also means that it requires everything as an input. You need to record everything so that you can have it as an input.

The important thing is to know how to document everything. Agile’s focus is on getting things done and adding value to stakeholders while saving time and cost during the project development process. With that goal in mind, Agile documentation takes only the essential pieces of information, and keeping them up to date. You need to make sure that documentation should be as efficient as possible and the real value of any information is dependent on the purpose it will be used for, after all.

So, when implementing agile, make sure you take these into account for managing the process for documentation.

  1. Implementing agile requires discipline: Agile but in a structured manner

Agile is sometimes perceived as an undisciplined way of working. It can seem chaotic at a glance, but there is actually a highly disciplined, task-oriented, self-managing team in every project.

Agile emphasizes individuals and collaboration, working together efficiently, customer collaboration, and responding to change. Some might think Agile doesn’t value things like following a plan or using processes and tools. On the contrary, Agile values these things, it is about being highly-structured and having rule-based processes. In other words, it’s not proposing lack of discipline but emphasized discipline.

If becoming an agile business – an adaptive, responsive, and learning organization – is your true goal, then make sure the rules are laid down and make sure that they are kept in a structured manner.

  1. Implementing Agile requires managing change requests from a single platform

Implementing a change request in agile is no different than implementing any other organizational change. Firstly, you need to see what is changing and have a clear picture of the impacts that the change will create.

In the Agile world, change is very much expected and time is considered more important than functionality. However, for all its usefulness, change can still become difficult to manage –and it’s very easy to get it wrong. For that reason, when implementing change, you need to make sure you have the right communication channels to manage it. You also need to train people for this new method. Don’t forget that changing organizational method requires building a support structure and a help network at early stages.

Without having flexibility and control over your change process, you will not only fail, but cause damage to the organization. The good thing is, if you build a healthy change request management you can increase your project success rates and thrive! With Maestro, you can make everything painless and easily manage all these change requests easily all in one place. Agility holds the key to businesses becoming "champions” and Maestro helps you to open the door to be in the champions’ league.

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