Agile - The "But" Syndrome
If you are currently going through the "Agile But Syndrome", trust me - you are not alone! In this article, we discuss the infamous buts and how can we remove them.
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How many of you have heard from your friends and colleagues that their organizations are delivering value to the customers in an Agile way? and during their conversation, you have heard them saying we are definitely delivering agile way, "But" there are few things we do it differently. Sounds familiar to you?
We Are Agile But
- We have been using the waterfall methodology still.
- We still produce a complete project/delivery plan.
- We still need to make sure that the complete requirements are fully signed off.
- Our customers changing needs are driving us crazy.
- We still need to produce loads of documentations.
- Our customers are using it only to make us deliver us faster.
- We still need to deliver milestones to invoice our customers.
- We cant quite follow the regular 2 or 4 weekly sprint cycle.
- Requirements seems so complex that we cant deliver value in smaller chunks.
- Our testing practices say that we need a complete sign-off before we move to the next phase of testing.
There is value in the way we have been delivering so far (e.g., following tools and processes), however, the Agile manifesto states that it's important to understand that there is more value in
- Individuals and interactions over tools and processes
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Cooperation with the customers over contract negotiation
- Respond to change over sticking to a plan
How to Remove the Big “But” in Your Organization
- Engage your stakeholders fully and early - it is important that your stakeholders or customers are fully engaged and early enough and get their "buy-in".
- Understand your customer requirements thoroughly.
- Mindset shift in your team and organization - Agile delivery is all about delivering incremental value to customers.
- Plan your teams - Cross-functional and co-located (physical or virtual) teams are always going to be efficient for your agile delivery.
- Choose your Tools, framework, and methodology effectively - Use appropriate tools and methodology which would enable you to deliver value faster to your customers.
- Fail early - If you are implementing agile projects for the first time, expect to fail but fail early in your project so that the impact can be minimized.
- Shift gears slowly and steadily - While the organization is still adapting to the Agile way of thinking and delivering, make the changes gradually for people to buy in and adapt.
- Expect pessimism - People resist changes, so expect to work with people and guide them along the process.
- Get a good "Agile Coach" - If your organization is going through the agile transformation, get an experienced agile coach who could help your transition.
- Showcase the benefits frequently - Showcase the benefits to your stakeholders and customers regularly (apart from showcasing product/value through sprint demo).
If you are currently going through the "Agile But Syndrome", trust me, you are not alone. By engaging your stakeholders early enough and throughout your delivery lifecycle and getting their buy-in is the key to your success.
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