Salient Agile Practices For Accelerated Business Outcomes Part 1
Many organizations have adopted an agile framework to ensure they continue to remain relevant. Today, there are several players and frameworks available to companies to adopt.Some Existing Agile Frameworks:
Popular agile frameworks currently available to individuals and companies include:
History about Agile:
Although the roots of agile may date back to the 1950’s with Toyota and test driven development with project Mercury, things really begun to pick up in the early 90’s with Rapid Application Development. James Martin’s rapid application development (RAD) to the world by storm in the 90’s. james Martin sought to reduce pre-planning and quickly transition into development. This was in a bid to ensure business collaboration begun in earnest. Other related frameworks were introduced with Extreme Programming (XP) being introduced in the late 90’s.
February 11th 2001 was the day 17 people who develop software and help others do it met at The lodge at Snowbird Ski resort in Wasatch Mountains of Utah to find common ground among their different approaches to software development. By the 13th of February 2001, there was an agreement on the way forward on a common manifesto. The outcome of the meeting was the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.
Scaled Agile, Inc. is the certifying body of the Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®). The Professional Certification Program provides a valid, reliable, and consistent method of assessing SAFe skills, knowledge, and mindset. Certified SAFe professionals are globally recognized for their ability to support the successful transformation of organizations into Lean-Agile enterprise.
The Scaled Agile Professional Certification Program supports this vision by:
- Providing reliable certifications based on sound exam development best practices and data-driven methods
- Offering a world-class certification program promoting the ubiquity of SAFe that is sought after by individuals, partners, and companies
- Supporting the SAFe learning journey through globally consistent role-based training, ongoing support, and Communities of Practice
Selected Companies Adopting SAFe Framework:
There are several leading companies that have adopted safe to facilitate and enhance their business operations. The SAFe framework is being used to improve business outcomes across the globe. These companies include but not limited to:
- Rolls Royce
- Hodge Bank
- Herbert Smith Freehills
What Matters Most To Organizations and Enterprise Leaders?
Business leaders and shareholders of organizations will always want their businesses to remain relevant. These business leaders apply techniques, strategies and relentlessly strive for the following:
- To be sustainable
- To increase in revenue
- Reduce cost
- On-going business
- To be profitable
In order to ensure the following are achieved, organizations ought to ensure an Agile framework is adopted to accelerate and enhance growth.
Which Facets of My Business Do I Need To Apply Agile For Accelerated Business Outcomes?
In today’s fast paced economy, agility is key to ensure businesses survive the storm, perils and dynamics of today’s sophisticated and dynamic markets.
It is key to get people, process and technology right in order to improve and enhance business outcomes. Successful organizations across the globe employ deliberate strategies to ensure these salient areas of their businesses adapt and conform to change.
How Important are my processes as an organization for accelerated business outcomes?
An organization is as nimble as its weakest process. Without mincing words, a laborious process impacts on productivity, speed to market and overall customer experience. Today, no customer will want to wait for years and months for the release of a minimum viable product (MVP). Customers will immediately switch if internal processes delay the release of a product or service. Leading companies have realized the desired benefits by the adopting agile transformation.
A classic example to elaborate is traditional waterfall project management process in comparison to an agile project management process. I happened to work for a company that employed the traditional waterfall model for the development of a software product. The project run for over 48 months. The delivered product had lost its relevance owing to the delay in delivering the solution. The business dynamics of the time had change drastically with the newly delivered product no longer fit for purpose. The major concern I experienced was the strict adherence to traditional project management practices where scope was frozen.
An agile transformation swept across the organization post the loss of market share owing to the traditional processes that were employed in delivering projects. The organization began its agile transformation by establishing a product management team and cross-functional teams of developers. Like many leading organizations, we used the scrum framework to start optimizing the software development process with emphasis on quality. As deployment frequency increased, other agile tools which includes Kanban were employed. The organizations emphasis shifted from tracking velocity to optimizing cycle time.
The adoption of agile project management processes immediately changed the fortunes of the organization and increased our market share.
There are several agile practices that may be employed to ensure processes of organizations meet the changing needs of today’s sophisticated customer.
People are an important aspect of every business. Agile centric organizations strive for flatter organizations with emphasis on people with cross-functional skills. A typical agile project team will have the following roles
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
- Team Members
The traditional project manager is a leader, a decision maker, planner who manages the project and his team and is the person accountable to the business for accomplishing the project objectives. Project a manger’s role is to manage the project and ensure tat the project meets the requirements.
The scrum Master on the other hand doesn’t manage the team that produces the work. Instead, he supports the product owner, coaches the team and makes sure the scrum process are adhered to. The Scrum master is responsible for the scrum process its correct Implementations and the maximization of its benefits. Whiles a traditional project manager helps manage the project timelines, resources and scope in order to meet business requirements, the scrum master however helps ensure the scrum team is successful.
Agile teams are self-organizing hence lessen the burden laid on a traditional project manager.
Agility of modern businesses is a key attribute to ensure survival in the 21st Century. Technology a driver for every business. Banks, Restaurants and even taxi businesses have become technology businesses.
The private taxi service company, UBER is driven by technology. Pizza companies are driven by technology for managing orders from customers. An agile approach for the deployment of technology solutions to serve as an enabler for businesses is key.
Agile Project Manager, Strategy & Business Planner,
IT Infrastructure Manager & Cloud Technologist,