4 Tips for Using Agile for Project Management
The agile approach to software development has almost become an industry standard at this point. Using agile enables multi-team development to proceed much more smoothly and for different teams to integrate their work clothes more efficiently. However, if you want to get the most out of agile development, then you need to think about how you implement it in your business. Below are 4 tips for introducing and maintaining an agile approach within your business.
Train New Workers Properly
If you want to utilize agile methodology throughout your business with any kind of consistency, then you need new workers to hit the ground running. However, you can’t just throw them in at the deep end and expect them to seamlessly integrate into teams who already have significant experience in using the method. Many people consider the agile method to be one of the easier productivity methods to implement, but like most systems, it requires a little finesse in order to use it to its full potential.
Sending a new worker into battle without the proper weaponry is bound to end in disaster. Sure, the rest of the team might be able to carry them through and give them instruction, but this means that they have less time and energy to dedicate to their own tasks. Agile is supposed to improve efficiency in your business – you don’t want to end up doing the exact opposite. However, if you don’t prepare new workers for an agile environment beforehand, that is exactly what will happen.
When you compare the time that it takes to go through some basic agility training to the time that you could potentially lose to a worker who is unable to integrate into your existing workflow, the right course and action become obvious. Mastering the agile system and using it to its full effect is going to take time and experience, there is no way of getting around that. But by providing a basic level of training for new workers beforehand, you can enable them to get the best start possible.
Have a Proper Onboarding Process
As part of your training for new workers, you need to have a comprehensive onboarding process. This onboarding should enable your new workers to get to grips with your way of doing things as quickly as possible and with the minimum amount of fuss. The exact approach to the agile system can vary from business to business, but many businesses use systems like Agile as a starting point for developing their own unique approach that is tailored to their individual circumstances.
Think of onboarding as being like boot camp; this is how you train new workers and ensure that they are equipped for the demands of working within your corporate structure. It is also an opportunity for you to ensure that new workers aren’t just trained in one specific system you use, but understand the underlying ethos that guides your decision-making. A well-rounded onboarding process will save you and your workers a lot of time in the future and minimize the lead time between them joining and reaching their full potential.
Don’t Rely Solely on Agile
An Agile approach to software development optimizes the workflow between the different teams involved. The potential benefits of using an Agile approach are enormous, but you should never be relying solely on one system to carry your business. Agile is effective for facilitating collaboration between different software development teams, but its use outside of this scenario is more limited.
If you think that there is a better approach you can adopt for managing other aspects of your workflow, don’t be afraid to bring these in alongside your agile methodology.
Put the Right People in Charge
Having the right systems in place for constructing your workflows will help you to improve your efficiency, but this is only one part of the equation. You don’t just need the right approach; you also need the right people to implement it. All of your senior project managers should be individuals who you can trust to not only properly motivate those that work beneath them, but to plot the most efficient course from start to finish.
If you are selecting someone to lead their very first agile project, it is worth taking the time to sit them down with someone more experienced who can advise them on how to proceed. A great place to start is with the 12 principles of agile that every project manager should know. It’s no good taking the time to prepare your new workers if you don’t also prepare the project managers who oversee them.
Many software development teams have already discovered the power of the agile approach. At this point, agile is pretty much an industry-standard approach amongst software developers. However, it is not a magic wand. If you want to get the most out of the agile approach, then you need to implement it in a considered way. Following the advice above is a great place to start.