Everyone involved in a startup, software development and generally entrepreneur activity, has probably heard the word ‘AGILE’ at least once. It is clear that AGILE is something you can apply to make your team more productive. But what is AGILE exactly? To use AGILE right it is essential to understand its concrete definition and application.
AGILE is a well-known development methodology that helps teams across various industries to deliver new features faster. It is not the future of team management, it is the present. Let’s define AGILE in practice. Imagine you’ve decided to produce ice cream. If you produced ice cream 30 years ago, you would create a concept of your ice cream and its flavours, after that, you would discuss the design and the development. That means you would identify problems and then plan solutions. To be fair, in the past, discussions took a large part of the development process. Only when the final product had been created, you would release it to market in its entirely. That means a consumer could wait years for new releases, and businesses had to wait for solutions and spent a lot of money without any assurances their product was on demand. It was called the Waterfall approach.
But in the early 2000s, AGILE came about. It recognised two key points:
In the present, you create a new ice cream flavour, test it, get feedback, then develop a solution (add chocolate chips?) and again test it. AGILE refers to iterative development. You deliver a product incrementally instead of releasing it all at once.
The true meaning that hides in the AGILE word is represented in the AGILE manifesto. These four values guide the AGILE methodology used by teams today.
How to understand whether your team is making progress or not? Here is where AGILE metrics come to help. They are standards of measurements that help to track the development process and ease the overall product release.
AGILE metrics should be well-organised, so you can easily recognise the information presented by them and turn it into product changes. ReSkript is a service that keep all your data tidy in one place. The effective usage of metrics helps to make quick decisions. ReSkript will support your team with a project management feature that will allow teams to stay connected and even vote on some controversial questions.
You need to use AGILE metrics to develop and improve your product. Test, test again, rinse and repeat.
The AGILE methodology is full of unusual words. Scrum and Kanban sound like they come from an alien language. To understand the differences between these two words, let’s define their meaning first.
Scrum is a process that walks with AGILE by hand. The main goal of implementing Scrum is to deliver the business value and new software in the shortest time. Scrum encourages team members to evaluate their productivity by having conversations and tracking what is working and what is not. These conversations organised into meetings called events. Events subdivided into:
It is a small meeting focused on discussing the work completed the day earlier and tasks that need to be done in the next 24 hours.
Sprint refers to the time frame in which work must be completed, usually 30 days. The agenda of the meeting is to help team members set the goals. In this time frame, at least one increment of software should be produced.
This meeting usually takes place after a sprint ends. In this session, it is important to discuss each other’s opinion on the sprint process and anyone’s suggestions on the possible improvements.
Kanban is more a visual system for managing software development work. It focuses on tracking and preventing potential bottlenecks. With Kanban, the work process goes at a steady pace.
The classic Kanban board presented as a deck of cards divided into three columns: To Do, Doing and Done. At ReSkript, we provide the best service to make your work as efficient as possible. So, we created the Kanban board to help your team deliver results consistently.
There is a set of principles for managing and improving the flow of work:
Creating a visual model of the current tasks helps to observe the workflow.
Strict time frames for each item travelling through the Kanban system allow teams to save time.
Work-in-processes are applied to optimise the Kanban system and improve the smooth flow of work.
To compare Scrum and Kanban, it is clear that while Scrum focuses on planning and Kanban is open to making changes on the go. Scrum works on a backlog that is available only for a single team, but Kanban uses a dashboard that can be owned by multiple teams. To sum up, Scrum is ideal for projects with changing and widely varying priorities, and Kanban is suitable for teams with stable priorities.
The AGILE method can be applied in any entrepreneurial sphere as it is not only a methodology but a philosophy. AGILE is beneficial for any activity.
Benefits to Customer
Customers see faster updates and better service. With AGILE high-value features are developed and delivered faster than by the classic “waterfall” approach.
Benefits to Vendor
Vendors’ activity becomes more profitable because AGILE reduces wastage by focusing development effort and reduces the go-to-market time. It also gives faster feedback that allows making new features and satisfy customers.
Benefits to Development Teams
Team members enjoy work, they feel valued. Positive feedback from users motivates teams to work even better. AGILE also reduces the amount of non-productive work and gives more time to parts of the job developers enjoy more.
Benefits to Product Managers
Product Managers, who are usually filling the Product Owner role, take responsibility to satisfy customer’s needs. AGILE allows making this process more efficient by providing frequent opportunities to re-prioritise work.
Benefits to Project Managers
Project Managers usually lead the AGILE development process. To compare with the waterfall approach, they find it easier to track and plan the workflow. The AGILE metrics provide tremendous awareness about the state of the project at all times. This awareness is key to monitoring the project, and to catching and addressing issues quickly.