Climbing towards achieving agility

Agile collaboration has become more critical than ever in an array of industries, so it’s important that organisations have the know-how when implementing agility to the workplace.

Organisations need to ensure they’re looking out for competitive threats, as well as new market developments. This is where agile comes in useful, helping identify experts and guide teams to tackle issues quickly through decision-making.

A healthy work culture plays a significant role in any workplace. It’s important to know where agility matters the most, as teams work on new products, strategic initiatives, or with clients.

Scrum meetings

In order to be agile, stand up meetings are critical, which is typically referred to as “scrum meetings”. Meetings usually take place every two weeks, at the end of the sprint. A sprint typically takes 1-4 weeks of a development lifecycle and consists of demonstrating features about the end project. Meetings should be at least an hour long, and consist of a number of goals to be achieved before the deadline date.

Before the meeting, a Product Owner will usually explain the user stories and use cases to the rest of the team, giving employees the chance to ask questions for clarification, in order to prevent confusion.

The team will then typically begin effort estimation using the method of “planning poker”. Once effort estimation is done, user stories are assigned to individual team members and work begins.

Team members can still add a new user story or task after the meeting, although new ideas must be communicated to the Product Owner if it isn’t originally a part of the plan.

Planning walls, also known as a scrum board, can be useful at this stage. A “board of progress” can easily be changed when something has been altered within a product. This ensures that all employees are aware of what stage of the development lifecycle the product is at.

Common pitfalls

Nevertheless, common pitfalls may arise which must be avoided when working towards agility. Different disciplines must be separated to steer clear of communication silos. Also, work must not be estimated by hours because it’s easy to fall into a trap of a small scope.

Another issue is reporting roadblocks, even when facing difficulties when working towards the deadline date. Reporting early is essential – in the long run, it will cost less and the end product will, without a doubt, be more effective.

New System Architecture can also be problematic, as it often involves new hardware components, different layers of an organisations IT infrastructure, as well as software applications that may be unfamiliar. In-house and third-party applications must be able to be built on, and security must be implemented accordingly.

Not forgetting, testers must test before the code. It’s not all about ensuring the code is stable and working properly, it’s about being focused on achieving the smallest thing possible in order for a test to pass.

As long as a structure is in place, projects are planned properly and communicated well, success is reviewed, and important aspects are adjusted when needed, then you should reap those benefits when climbing towards agility!

Written by Leah Alger