Agile method of development refers to an incremental or iterative management method. It primarily focuses on assisting teams operating in an evolving landscape to maintain their focus on rapidly delivering business values. All methodologies applied in Agile project management follow the principles of the Agile manifesto which focus on continuous delivery of high-quality results, improvement, team input, and manifesto. Implementing the agile methodology means that you get to enjoy the following benefits:
The agile methodology provides a number of opportunities for stakeholder engagement. This occurs prior to, during, and at the end of each project. When the client is involved in all aspects of project management, it means that there will be a high collaborative degree between the project team and their client.
This will make it easier for the team to understand the vision possessed by their client. Early software delivery will enhance the stakeholder’s trust in a team’s ability to supply a high-quality application. It will also encourage the development team to become more involved in the ongoing projects.
The Agile approach provides you with a unique opportunity to ensure that your clients are involved throughout each project. Clients will be involved in determining and prioritizing features, planning for the iteration phase, as well as the review sessions for all subsequent builds in a bid to determine what new features should be included. But this will require your clients to keep in mind that what they are seeing is actually work in progress and not the final build. This is particularly vital in promoting transparency.
Agile has always promoted the use of time-boxed fixed schedules. The schedules should be of between 1 and 4 weeks. The time-boxed schedules are there to make sure that all new features will be delivered quickly and as frequently as possible.
This is meant to promote predictability. It ensures that the client will be aware of when the new build or features are to be delivered, and will, therefore, do away with suspense and haste on their part. It will also present an opportunity for your team to release each software version earlier for testing purposes. A timely release is great for beta testing as it also guarantees that sufficient business value will be present.
Predictable Costs and Schedules
Each sprint in the development phase is in the form of a fixed schedule. As such, the cost of each sprint will be predictable and will be fully limited to the tasks that can be performed by a team within each fixed schedule time box. When this is linked with the estimates that were provided prior to the start of each task, a client will be able to better estimate the costs of developing each feature. It is a good thing in that it promotes better decision making. The client will be able to prioritize features that should be included in the program while determining whether additional iterations will be required, depending on the available budget.
Even though the team will be required to stay focused on providing certain features with each iteration, it will have the opportunity to reprioritize and refine the product. Any new items changed in a backlog can be executed during the next iteration. As time goes by, the team will be in a position to introduce new changes with every new iteration that is made.
Focus on Business Value
When a client is allowed to determine or prioritize the features that are needed, the development team will get the chance to understand which features matter the most to the client. They will, therefore, deliver on these features more effectively. Additionally, they will go the extra mile to confirm that the delivered features actually provide business value and have not been merely included for cosmetic purposes.
How Agile can Be Applied in HR
If you ask any manager if their organization practices Agile, you’ll almost always get an affirmative “yes.” However, if you probe deeper, you’ll realize that the said agility begins and ends with product development teams, which is mostly software engineering. But, Agile can be employed in other departments like HR and finance as well.
Most HR organizations operate around the traditional job requisition, which is nothing more than a listing of tools and capabilities framed in an ambiguous language about “team players” and “self-starters.” The job descriptions are often written to fill gaps in a specific discipline by speedily ticking the boxes and moving the candidates to the next recruitment level. Ultimately, the hiring managers are pressured to make a decision to ensure that the HR teams meet their quota targets.
Now, this style of talent requisition doesn’t encourage organizational agility but on the contrary, builds barriers between disciplines and discourages cooperation. HR teams should instead begin hiring for creativity, curiosity, and collaboration. They should seek out non-conformist generalists with entrepreneurial spirits. These are the multi-faceted tinkerers who might begin as system designers and later turn into great coders. Such talents will push back the status quo and force the business to rethink how it presents itself to the customers. So, you need to restructure your recruitment methodology and how to incentivize and retain these talents once you bring them on board. A monetary reward for project achievements is no longer adequate. Modify your compensation structure to include equity or upside for the ideas and projects your collaborative teams create.
Agile is one of the most powerful software development tools available today. It is not only beneficial to the team developing the software, but it also goes ahead to provide numerous benefits to clients. It ensures that a development team is able to overcome project pitfalls like scope creep, costs, as well as schedule predictability.