Being agile in the new normal
The current pandemic has not only changed the way how projects are managed, teams collaborate, business success criteria are defined; but also, the way how people approach the problems and find solutions.
Following are the attributes of an agile mindset
- Empowered Teams: Teams are empowered to take decisions and try different approaches to deliver the best results with continuous support and feedback. Empowering your teams will also help in creating a sense of ownership and accountability.
- Iterative and incremental: Deliver in shorter cycles with measurable business value iteratively and incrementally by splitting bigger epics, features into smaller user stories and tasks at a regular interval.
- Transparency: Transparency is the foundation of any relationship including the interactions between the teams and with other stakeholders. As one of the important pillars of Scrum framework, transparency allows trust to prevail between working and personal relationships. For example, transparency promoted in reporting progress and challenges with risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies (RAID).
- Collaborative: Collaboration is not only about group of people working in a project; but it is about working together, self-organising, helping and communicating with each other to move forward with a shared goal and a common organisational objective.
- Empirical: Evaluating performance based on the past data and measuring progress based on the evidence and on observations of reality. Empiricism lets you experiment, learn, and adapt.
- Adaptive: Adaptive mindset is about changing direction when required and stopping if any approach is not giving expected results. It allows you to constantly look for better ways of doing things for continuously improving the outcomes and builds the ability to adapt based on the results of the inspection.
- Sustainable: The approach and the ways of working which are maintainable so that consistency can be created within the teams and uncertainty can be embraced. This is aligned with the eighth principle of agile where it promotes sustainable development.
The benefits of an Agile Mindset are multi-faceted
- Cadence: It provides a rhythm in the delivery and creating value for the customer.
- Quick shifts: Changing direction when needed including deprioritising the ongoing work.
- Deconstructs the work: Making the bigger tasks smaller so that they can be accomplished through critical analysis to make them meaningful and usable.
- Time-boxed: Brings an element of discipline by planning the deliveries and releases continuously.
- Inspection and adaptation: Continuous evaluation and adjustment during the iteration. For example: inspecting progress towards Sprint Goal in Daily Scrum and adapting Sprint Backlog and Daily Plan.
- Retrospect and learn: To identify and assess the performance along with actionable improvements so that success can be repeated, and learnings can be shared.