After taking a look at the “what” and “why” last week, we now turn our attention to the “how” and “what for”.
Tips for Fast Implementation
The Agile Working concept cannot be introduced into an entire company overnight. It is, however, perfectly suited for introduction to small units or processes, that in turn function as pilots before the concept is gradually expanded to the whole:
- Communication: Daily stand-up meetings lasting not more than 15 minutes are held to discuss the tasks for that day. What is on the day’s agenda; what is required to achieve tasks; who can help who?
- Transparency: Project progress is displayed in a central location to provide visible and transparent information to everyone. All tasks are noted on post-its and placed in “To do”, “Pending”, and “Done” categories (columns). Every task is assigned to a team member. Anyone who has finished their task helps the others with theirs.
- Feedback: Team meetings are held every two weeks to develop specific proposals for improvements that will be taken up and implemented in the coming two weeks.
Agile Working for Projects
Projects are also excellent vehicles for the introduction of agile working. Three steps will quickly result in greater agility:
- Sub-Projects: The overall project is broken down into sub-projects. Each sub-project is noted on a post-it and add to the “To do” column on the wall. The sub-projects are ranked by priority to create a small road map. Following this, each one is broken down into specific tasks that are assigned to individual team members, again creating specific tasks for each employee.
- Short-Term Planning: Planning is limited to the next and next-but-one sub-project; the information available for subsequent sub-projects is often too vague, resulting in chaos within the team.
- Client Perspective: The outcomes of sub- and entire projects are formulated from the client perspective. This ensures that the project does not become an end in itself – team members do not lose sight of the goal and can react independently and in the client’s interests if problems arise.
Creating Agile Frameworks
If the pilot projects are successful and the company wishes to leverage the use of agile working, then the Scrum and Kanban agile management frameworks can be set up. While there is very little actual difference between the two, Scrum is generally considered to be more highly regulated, while Kanban is more transparent but can quickly become somewhat chaotic. In practice, a hybrid of both concepts is frequently used. Introduction of the framework can, in itself, be viewed as an agile project and thus be adjusted step-by-step to meet specific requirements.
The Advantages of an Agile Company
The key to successful implementation is the will of the employees and support from management. If all individuals desire this corporate culture; take responsibility; and consider themselves to be team players, then the entire company will benefit from:
- Efficient working
- The ability to react fast to changes
- Continuous product improvements
- Being highly attractive to skilled and committed workers