“Hello! we’re agile!” – How to be agile, instead of doing agile
Hello! We’re Agile!
Agile seemingly is a buzzword, but it is not sufficient to simply adopt or implement agile; for success, it is vital to be agile.
Those working in an agile environment must expect and embrace changes, for changes are at the heart of this process. Requirements for the product will change multiple times throughout development, as feedback is gleaned and as circumstances change. There may also be changes to the development team’s structure as members enter and exit. Such changes should be prepared for, in order to handle them as smoothly as possible, and with as few consequences for projects as possible.
The journey to being agile begins with the mindset to expect and embrace changes, which assists in handling those changes well when they arise. It also prevents panic when those changes occur, thereby enabling teams to take control over the situation better as they happen.
Agile is a highly collaborative methodology, in that development members must work closely with one another in order to accelerate each development stage and sprint. That is key to agile product development. Development team members must collaborate and coordinate their work to complete each task within the established timeframe. To be agile, individuals should embrace the frequent interaction amongst those involved in agile product development, within and outside of meetings.
Not only should they communicate updates and issues related to the project, but they should also communicate suggestions regarding team dynamics, in order to boost agile productivity. Updates, issues, and suggestions should be communicated frequently in order to generate the necessary actions to improve the agile experience.
Feedback is important to making changes to the agile project and to the teams’ composition, as needed. It is vital that the development team members provide feedback regarding their work, in order for the remainder of the project to improve, and to enhance upcoming agile projects. Being agile involves being active in providing feedback.
Another factor important to being agile is the ability to decompose tasks. Agile product development is all about decomposing a large, complex project into short sprints composed of small stages, in the effort to accelerate and enhance the product development process. Each sprint’s backlog should be decomposed into small tasks, to make them more manageable and to assist with the speed with which they can be completed. To be agile is to keep this in mind and to approach anything project related with this mindset.
Using agile methodology is not to be confused with being agile. To engage in agile is not the same as being agile, but once the agile method is in process, it is not difficult to make the leap to being agile. Being agile is a mindset that embraces agile factors such as changes, communication, feedback, and decomposition, and approaching more than project work with that mindset. Once an individual is agile, a boost of productivity will follow.