Business organizations and systems seek to better understand the users’ needs and to better implement them in their products and services. Response time used to create the best solution for the customer is want makes a company market leader. This is one of the important things where Agile is the best choice.
Agile approach has become an almost unwritten rule in the planning and implementation of IT projects because it provides the best solutions and opportunities in today’s uncertain business environment. As an approach created with the goal to respond and adjust to such changes and challenges, it is quite clear why Agile wins the world at lightning speed. In addition to the IT industry, a pioneer in the implementation of Agile’s approach, Agile is becoming the backbone of the development of numerous non-IT organizations.
Why is Agile most-sought approach nowadays? For one – a market strategy and ways of how to adapt to its demands and challenges, then competition, technical advantages and innovations, innovations as everyday thing in IT world. Similar challenges follow the other industries, since traditionally managed projects are strugling to survive in a fast pace environment.
What does Agile bring?
Companies today need to respond to user requests fast, which helps them better place their products and services on the market. This leads to better positioning, more successful customer relationships, and plays a role in the brand’s virality. The advantage over the competition in today’s business environment is short-lived because of easier access to the market and the rapid advancement of technology. However, with good strategy and flexible approach, the goals you set up are quite realistic and feasible.
Some of the main advantages of the Agile approach are response time to market demands by tracking product development by iterations, as well as fast and short development cycles. Agile techniques enable chages in certain parts of a project during the production phase, if they don’t match with customer’ needs. In the past, this was not possible, which affected the quality of the project, as well as the delivery time, creating obstacles in product development, at least from a technical side. Agile helps achieve savings which lead to more efficient control of costs, as well as increase of profit, one of the primary goals of business.
Iterative-incremental product development and transparency a core of the Agile approach, provide less risk for the project as a whole. It is much easier to set the time frames because the phases are relatively short. Agility means that the changes are not only necessary, but inevitable, so that with the set deadlines, all changes can be easily implemented.
When you implement Agile, besides quality enhancements, teams get faster feedback, so they can remove all defects in progress, ensuring that every functionality of the product is completely tested. Regular testing maintains and improves the quality of the final product.
Faster implementation of feedback or requests for new features, contributes to better functions, improved user satisfaction and user experience, and results in a continuous improvement.
Another important segment that can be improved with Agile is team and company communication. In addition to increased customer satisfations, teams work in better harmony, become more transparent and take more responsibility. Agile includes building of entire culture and values that help better achieve business goals.
Agile is giving people control over their work, providing opportunities for challenge and mastery, and aligning their work with a higher purpose. It continuously remove organizational impediments from the team. Also, set the stage by creating the conditions for high performing teams and motivated people.
How Agile works for you?
What happens when Agile does not seem to be working the way you planned or the results are below expected? There is a belief that even poorly implemented Agile is good. Think twice, becuse the purpose of Agile is help your bussiness become more efficient and optimal.
Before you start using the Agile approach you need to be sure why you want to use it and to make sure to have clearly defined goals. Ask yourself – what challenges does your company/teams face that Agile approach and practice could help you ovecome?
One of possible and common challenges in practice is imposing too much responsibilities and tasks on a team at the same time, which may result with unrealistic delivery requirements. For this challenge, Agile offers prioritisation, retrospectives and reviews, which allows teams to decide on what will be the main focus and which segments can be placed aside in a certain phase.
The next challenge is related to team members not feeling self-confident or they do not have enough autonomy to do what they need to achieve goals. Agile actually encourages all team members to be independent and to take initiative. If your team faces similar fears, try to improve transparency and allow the team to self-organize in order to focus on tasks.
Another potential challenge is stakeholders, because the team simetimes does not understand exactly what the customer wants. You can overcome this challenge by involving the client in the early stage for more detailed analysis or testing, submit a trial version to a smaller group of customers. Use the feedback and user experience to improve the product and have it ready for the market.
How to apply Agile?
Maybe now you have a dilemma of how to apply Agile? You need to understand that moving to Agile is a question of adapting to new culture, mindset and processes. It is therefore good to have full support in these changes. There are many ways to do this, but it’s often good to start with a smaller scale project.
Work on education and continuous improvement – yourself, communication, processes, products, because this is the key to success and a recipe for adapting to changes. The success lies in good communication, good leadership, as well as in experts who can share their knowledge and best practices with your team. Look for the right support before you embark on an agile journey called transformation and be prepared for change. Be open to adopt new values, to build a new culture and a mindset.
Live Agile to successfully use Agile!
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