Agile Software Development: 5 Things You Should Consider
Agile Software Development encompasses many things. In this article we discuss five things to consider when using Agile: leadership, roles, quality, continuous improvement, and goals. These will help to drive success in your organization’s agile development effort. Let’s dive in!
Regardless of which type of Agile methodology you choose to follow; Kanban, Scrum, Lean or others, you will need someone in a leadership position. This can be on a project by project basis or even better, a company-wide agile “master.” You should consider having your leaders certified in Agile development. This will be a great investment for any organization looking to use Agile to drive projects. There are many times when the leaders are also the project managers; however, it doesn’t have to be that way and these roles can be kept separate. Either way, it is important to establish who is responsible for what.
Agile Software Development Roles
To make Agile development work successfully, you need to have roles ironed out and the responsibilities of those roles well-defined. The roles then need to be assigned to members of the agile team. Individuals need to be fully aware of the expectations that are being placed on them. All members need to be able to carry out the roles they have been assigned. Tools such as ProjectManager.Com are helpful solutions to organize your Agile roles, tasks and work.
The incumbents in these roles also need to be able to work independently to achieve the goals of the project. The timelines, dates and goals will suffer if there is too much dependence on someone else’s interaction. Of course, there will be interaction between different moving parts of a project. But, the goal is to limit the dependence as much as possible. This way if Bob is on vacation for 2 weeks, it won’t cause the project to be slowed down in his absence.
One the goals of Agile is to produce quality outcomes. New widgets, software, or a new process are useless if the outcome is not of good quality. Agile is meant to be a flexible methodology to handle wide ranges of input. The solutions to issues are usually unknown and evolving as you go along. As new challenges present themselves, it’s important to make sure you are not deviating from quality. It requires everyone to be responsible for the quality of a project.
Everyone must have a level of discipline which they follow to achieve their goals and the goals of a company. It’s good to make sure that even the smallest detail is truly adding value to your company’s goals. It can be a very difficult thing for a company to continuously produce a quality outcome, but it is possible.
It’s important to set up a framework to continually improve using Agile software development. You must encourage employees to find problems and solve them. That doesn’t mean create them! Processes should also be reviewed for efficiencies and effectiveness on a consistent basis.
For continuous improvement to happen, individuals must work well as a team. The company only gets better as the individuals come together and work for the betterment of the company.
Be Cognizant Of Your Goals
So often in Agile, a company doesn’t have a specific goal in mind. You need to know what you are trying to achieve. It needs to be measurable and attainable within a given time frame. Where is the company wanting to go? What goals do you want to achieve?
Once goals are established, you can ensure that every step is aligned with them. When creating and prioritizing user stories, know how each one provides value that gets you closer to your goals. It’s useless to go through Agile software development and not gain any advantages or value from it.
So let’s look back at what we’ve covered. A company needs to consider leadership, assign roles, produce quality, have continuous improvement, and know the goals. These five things will allow you to take full advantage of the agile way of project management. If you would like to get started on an agile software development project, get in touch with us to see how we can help.