Let’s go Agile!


Has anyone of you heard from the senior management that ‘We are going Agile’ and wondered “Well, is it just small teams working together instead of larger teams? Having early morning meetings to catch-up?”. I won’t say you are completely wrong, but there is something magical about agile.


If you have seen any movies depicting the start-up culture, for example if you have seen the ‘Pirates of Silicon Valley’, you might have noticed how the initial years for companies like Apple or Microsoft were. The process they followed to develop products was very very close to Agile. Obviously, they did not have ‘Agile Ceremonies’ but in a way they did and just weren’t aware of it.


Agile is something that is not only beneficial if you are managing a project for a large scale institution but also important if you want to build your own product.

I am not going to go over the ‘Agile Manifesto’ as I think no one would remember it after they finish reading this post and also it’s just guidelines that people usually tend to forget. Let’s get practical and look at stuff that you can put to work right from time you finish reading this.


I am going to keep this post short so that we can focus on how it can be implemented and start going Agile!!


How Agile Works?


Let’s say you have been given the task to deliver the product to the business — for that you start with creating a team which will consists of developers, testers, business analysts, etc. You would then sit down with your team, ask them what they think about the difficulty level of each of the task required to complete the product and discuss what is the expectation in the next 2 weeks. Let’s say you want the login page, profile page etc to be done by the end of 2 weeks, your developers will then take up the responsibility to complete the task they can, in the upcoming 2 weeks.

Here,

  • Duration of sprint: 2 weeks.

  • Sprint pre-planning session: The initial process of deciding the difficulty of the task

Once the sprint starts, your team would meet everyday for like 10–15 mins to discuss what they did, what they are going to do today and if they have any difficulties. There will be a person in the team who would make sure the team is not facing any problems. One week into the sprint, the business says that they want some additional features so you call up for a quick team meeting to decide the difficulty of the newly added features and add them to the backlog. After your first sprint(2 weeks), you would sit down with your team and review the sprint, check out the tasks that were completed and the remaining not completed tasks are put into the backlog. You also discuss what went wrong and how can you improve it. Your team can also provide demo to the business so that they can finalize on their code.

Here,

  • Scrum: That’s the everyday 10–15 mins your team has

  • Scrum Master: Who makes sure the team is not facing any problems

  • Backlog grooming session: Quick team meeting to decide difficulty of new features

  • Sprint review: Process of checking out tasks that were completed etc.

  • Sprint retrospective: Process of discussing what went wrong and how can you improve it.

  • Demo: Providing demo to business for finalizing the code.

This is completion of one sprint. You again start with the second sprint and the process stays the same.


Advantages of Agile

  • It gives multiple opportunities for the stakeholders to change the requirements which implies that there is a high degree of collaboration between the client and project team.

  • Also as parts of the projects are being delivered at regular intervals, it increases stakeholders’ trust in the team’s ability and encourages them to be more deeply involved in the project.

  • It increases the transparency between the business and technology because the demo phase in Agile gives the business an opportunity to point out any misunderstanding that might have happened during the requirement gathering phase.

  • By allowing the business to prioritize the stories in the sprint pre-planning phase, the team understands the business value of the product and the order in which the features are expected to be released.

  • By converting requirements to user-stories, we are in a way looking at the product from a user perspective and not as just a IT component which helps us to beta test our software after each sprint.

  • By having a definite to-do list in a time-frame, team can focus of high-quality development, testing and collaboration.

  • Agile helps the team deal with common project pitfalls like cost, schedule, scope creep etc.


That’s it folks. Now that you know how it works, start implementing and shower some love ❤ Happy to connect on LinkedIn.

Source: LinkedIn Learning, Segue Tech

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