Development

Staying Agile to deliver more

Adopting Agile is a proven way to stay competitive in today's disrupted, constantly changing markets.

May 07 2014

Persistent with your know-how?
Resistant to change?
Agile is not for you.

We have all witnessed certain startups that experience major success, rapidly growing confidence in their magic formula, only to be disappointed when realizing that this formula doesn’t last forever.

The main prerequisite for accepting Agile is realising that nothing is written in stone, that markets constantly change and that the only way for businesses to truly develop is for them to learn how to swim in disrupted waters. The term “Agile” has been around for quite some time, yet businesses are still finding it difficult to implement. Theoretically, it’s a methodology that reduces development waste, improves quality and meets client requests more effectively. But what does it mean in practice?

As always, everything begins with organisational restructuring. When observing any decently organised Agile team you will notice that it functions as a self-sustainable organism. It does not rely on any external experts in its mission to complete previously-planned tasks. For example, a Scrum development team, which is an incremental Agile software development framework, would have all the necessary database skills, user interface skills, testing skills etc. to complete any given task. This is the basis for a Scrum team to achieve its purpose – flexible and quick development. A small Scrum team (15 members or less) should consist of:

• Scrum Master – often considered as the coach of the team, helping it to perform to the peak of its ability

• Product Owner – the person representing all stakeholders, in charge of making decisions in a timely manner and prioritising the team’s work items

• Team Member – the person who collaborates with the rest of the team and completes given tasks

Now that you have organised, it’s time to move on to the most important aspect of Agile development: communication and having fun! Agile teams meet on daily basis, in form of 15 minute stand-up meetings called “daily scrums”. These meetings ensure that every team member is up to date with what is being done, and that everyone is focused on the task at hand. These daily scrums are part of a 2-week “Sprint” after which the team meets to review all completed tasks for the previous period and plan for the next.

Long lost are the days of long-term development planning, when development was a one way street and when developers were perceived as individuals excluded from the company. Agile development brings more creativity as opposed to the traditional development perception. Most importantly, it brings quickness and responsiveness needed to optimise your business.