Agile is a broad term to describe software development methodologies that have grown in popularity in recent years. They’re popular because they place software development back at the heart of the practice, rather than focussing on things like documentation or top-heavy management. Every developer within an agile team is responsible for self-management, meaning this leadership philosophy is a lot more empowering for members of a development team.
As more and more software development companies adopt agile methodologies, other parts of the business world are starting to pay attention to this management style. Agile methodologies focus on getting a minimum viable product up and running, testing regularly and setting specific goals. Done is better than perfect when it comes to agile methodologies. This is something that can be applied to many different areas of a business to help streamline processes and ensure efficiency. Here are just some ways agile can be used in business.
Agile Methodologies for Business
As the name would suggest, the pivot is a part of the agile methodology that encourages decision makers to make quick decisions about the direction of a project. If something isn’t working, agile methodologies would say to abandon the project and pivot in another direction. This goes against many management styles which dictate that if time or money has been put into a project, you need to see it through to completion. When you embrace pivoting, this drastically changes the way you approach projects and evaluate their success.
Most people glaze over when they think about the meetings they have to sit through a work. When adhering to agile methodologies, these meetings are multiplied but shortened. This might mean having a 10-minute check in every day to discuss the work ahead. When you check in every day, it’s easier to ask for help, point out problems, or identify areas of weakness that need attention. Not to mention, it’s a great time to praise success!
When you have a large organisation filled with lots of people doing different jobs and managing different workloads, it can be difficult to prioritise workloads. By using agile methodologies like the Kanban board, you can easily visualise workload and flow and make smarter decisions about what to prioritise. This might be a physical board filled with colourful post it notes, or it could be a digital board shared with everyone in your organisation.
A mix up of roles
One of the 12 principles of agile methodologies is that business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. If developers only developer, testers only test and managers only manage, then you may be missing out on vital connections and collaborations which could give rise to interesting new ideas. If everyone is allowed some scope to explore outside of their roles, you’ll get to explore new avenues throughout the project.
Maximise the work not done
Think about the time wasted on unnecessary and superfluous tasks carried out every day just out of habit. Micromanagement goes out of the window when team members are given the opportunity to self-manage. The result? The amount of work not done increases and simplicity takes over. Rather than documenting work and keeping meticulous records, everyone has the time to focus on the task at hand.
Agile methodologies aren’t for everyone, but they can be highly effective when implemented in the right way. Turning the entire organisation of a team on its head can be stressful, so instead, look for small ways to improve workflow in your business.