Let’s first look at how company practices or policies can make adopting agile difficult if not flat out impossible. If a company is unwilling to provide the needed members or resources to a team, it might be difficult for the agile team to achieve their goals. Similarly, if company policies don’t allow for agile practices, developments can be dramatically slowed. These can include having long approval processes for budgets, interference from the C-suit, or second-guessing the decisions and planning of the team. An agile team placed in this environment will be hindered and limited to the speed that the other departments or people allow them to operate.
Don’t be Afraid to Loosen the Reins
The other primary internal condition deals with the people who will be a part of the team. Just as managers must have an agile mindset, so too must the team members. All of the team members must be motivated and believers in the process. This can be difficult to recognize, but it is the responsibility of the manager to understand the necessity and identify the correct members both technically and mentally.
In an agile team, managers don’t dictate they facilitate. They provide the right people with the resources and freedom needed to achieve their tasks and defend against any internal (within the team) or external (within the organization) factors which try to break the process. If you are considering adopting agile practices, these are just a few of the internal and external conditions you should consider. Still, just as having the right mindset does not guarantee success nor does simply having favorable conditions. Meaning you can find success with unfavorable conditions or fail in an “agile paradise”. So why go through all of the trouble of trying to adopt agile?
5 Truly Effective Reasons to Adopt Agile
1. Improve Resource Utilization
Agile can help drastically Improve resource utilization in two key ways. The first is by bringing all of the needed people into one team who can react and handle the tasks. The second is by letting employees select their tasks. This keeps them from ever having to wait to be assigned a new task. Especially in organizations experiencing rapid growth and internationalization, making the most of resources in e.g. IT is vital.
2. Accelerate Deliveries
Agile has different methodologies which have different rates of deliveries. A key characteristic of agile is getting working software or solutions to customers. This could be bi-weekly as with Scrum, or as an instantaneous flow with Kanban.
3. Better at Adapt to Changes
The collaborative nature of agile mixed with the short cycles make it the champion when it comes to dealing with changes. Agile organizations will have teams that can easily work together to create a plan to meet the new requirement. Also, due to the near-instantaneous delivery cycles with agile, these teams will be ready to start working within days if not at that moment.
4. Align Operations
Collaboration and agile go hand in hand, and this isn't simply collaboration within one department. Agile teams should have members from different areas to give new insights and ideas. Having these cross-functional teams will help the different areas of your organization come together and bring back what they are working on to their department.
5. Make Customers Happier
Most customers love two things being heard and seeing actions. Agile places an increased focus on listening and working with customers, to better understand what they need, and how you can best solve this need. Once these developments can add any value, no matter how small, they should be deployed to customers, showing action.
Are you satisfied with your satisfaction?
Agile methodologies and concepts can greatly increase the value an organization can create, while also improving the way they work and possibly reducing costs. So, it is no wonder why everyone is interested in adopting agile. But agile can also help in two key areas that are not often considered, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. These two topics relate to some of the reasons above but should be brought up on their own.
Agile organization better serve the needs of customers by bringing them closer to the development process; while providing them with continuous iterations adding to higher levels of satisfaction by involving them in the process. Agile helps to improve employee experiences by letting them manage themselves, their tasks, and work together on problems. By bringing your employees into the decision-making process, and letting them be the drivers of change, they will feel that they have a voice and what they are doing adds real value. I guess the real question right now is, are you convinced about agile yet?
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