Your Agile Journey

by Sanjiv Raj on November 24, 2020
Precision Blog

Have you begun your Agile journey? Do you understand the value that Agile brings to your technology success? To keep up with the fast-paced market, more and more businesses are embracing the Agile methodology to ensure successful project outcomes. With that said, let’s begin your journey and look at where you want it to go.

Is Agile the Right Choice for Your Company?
As we know, Agile is a continuous development cycle. Before deciding if this is the right methodology for your company, you need to have a great understanding of the culture and behavior of your organization. How flexible is your company with change? If you are coming from a Waterfall mindset where everything is completed one step at a time, you need to consider how well your company environment is able to handle that drastic change of pace. Your company needs to be willing to delegate full-time business experts, move away from an organizational hierarchy, and become customer-centric (if not already). Working in an Agile methodology is all about your customers. If you are checking all of these boxes, your company is ready to begin an Agile journey.

In our very fast-paced, technology-driven world, companies are moving to Agile because of it’s continuous development life-cycle. This gives the customer the right product at the earliest stages. Because it’s a continuous cycle, you are receiving continuous feedback from the customer. When you start building the product from the customer’s perspective, you tend to deliver them in very short cycles (sprints). At the end of each cycle, you receive an immediate feedback from the customer. With this information, you are able to deliver a much more functional product with a better business value.

What the Beginning of Your Agile Journey Looks Like
Kicking off with Agile in an organization involves a clear understanding of the project. You need be very clear with the high-level understanding of project in terms of what you want to achieve. From here you develop the project’s vision and scope and define the team’s responsibilities. Defining the beginning and scope of the Agile project with your team is the most important step when beginning your Agile journey.

At the end of your Agile “kick-off” process, you are led to a program increment or PI planning. This planning or increment plan ends with your action plan. It is a collaboration process, everyone involved should be very transparent during discussions when giving their ideas. All of these ideas and requirements are written on the board, so your team is able to cross the T’s and dot the I’s of the project. After collaborating, you are presented with your action plan, which is a deliverable product. Now that you kicked off your journey, your team is ready to head into development & deployment, all within a limited amount of time.

Potential Pitfalls
With every great Agile project, comes it’s potential pitfalls. It’s important to be aware of every possibility and outcome when you are on your Agile journey. Keep in mind, errors and pitfalls occur within any project and any given time, so it’s always good to be prepared for any outcome. When it comes to an Agile project, the biggest pitfall that occurs is the constant changes that come with this methodology. To have a successful project, your teams’ mindset must be agile and accepting of constant change. Changes within an Agile project requires immediate action, and your team must be able to adapt to those requirement changes quickly. Another potential pitfall is the disregard of organizational hierarchy. As mentioned earlier, an Agile approach requires a team effort that is customer centric. This project is all about the customer and disregards your legacy within the organization. This methodology relies on collaboration for a project to be successful. Lastly, impatience is a trait that contributes to the downfall of a project. The Agile methodology is fast-paced and is completed within short periods of time; therefore, it requires an immense amount of patience from each team member when developing the delivery model. Overall, these are the initial issues that arise in an Agile project.

You’ve Started Your Journey, Now What?
Once your company has drafted the model or framework of Agile, you must develop an MVP, otherwise known as a Minimal Viable Product. Your organization needs to initially define the product that is minimally viable but still gives business value. This is the first step when you move deeper into your Agile journey. The idea of creating an MVP is to receive early feedback from the customer and test your hypothesis your organization created during planning. This process saves your organization a lot of time. Next, you must create a single product back log. In Agile, you focus on one particular delivery at a time. Multitasking is not present in this process because you need to focus on one high priority functionality at a time. It is also recommended that once your organization is well versed with the Agile process, that your team keeps up with continuous learning and receiving certifications. This allows your organization to always be ahead, so they are able to complete successful projects.

A great example of what it looks like going deeper into an Agile project is the banking and financial industry. Every bank has started with a small Agile journey by placing the methodology into the corporate culture and getting an understanding of how it worked. For a more specific example, a large financial company started out on a small Agile journey, using the framework about nine years ago. They began just using Agile in corporate and eventually moved out to all branches and the travel sector. Now, the entire organization works on a large-scale Agile framework where everyone is connected and interdependent.

What to Expect in Your Agile Journey
So, once you’ve started your Agile journey, what should you expect? As far as KPI’s, the key point to remember is that the quality is measured in terms of ROI. Quality is determined when you deliver a product to the customer. That value and feedback is vital to the success of your project. With every sprint, you receive feedback and metrics on how to improve. This whole process is designed for success for everyone involved.

Are you ready to begin your Agile journey? Let us help you get there. Contact us with all of your Agile questions and we will get you to where you need to be for success.

About Precision
Precision Technologies Corp. (PTC) is a leading full stack IT Company with a diversified portfolio of agile transformation, application & mobile development, the PMO suite, automation, analytics, salesforce solutions and technology staffing services. Since 2010, our clients have leveraged our staffing and consulting experience to obtain escalated technical services across the industries. We often are told that our solutions are very precise, cost-effective and process driven, thereby delivering intended results.