AGILE DEVELOPMENT: KEY CONCEPTS IN MAKING THE TRANSITION
Have you or members of your organization started talking about agile development? Want to know how to make the leap successfully? Here are some key concepts to consider.
1. Let the rate of change happen organically.
If your organization is new to agile introduce some concepts and then move on to the next. You don’t have to do all agile all at once. This may happen slowly or it may (probably) happen faster than you plan. Some people will resist the change and others will embrace it. Let the team change at it’s own pace.
2. Focus on quality.
Nothing will bring your attempts to move to agile to a screeching halt faster than delivering a buggy, unusable mess to the customer. Agile will get blamed and you’ll have to go back to the old way of doing things – most likely unfair but it happens. As you learn how long it takes your team to deliver quality in the agile way, it might be better to fight for a little more time than to deliver a not quite polished product.
Make sure everyone is talking to each other. Management is talking to developers, developers to testers, testers to the clients and management to stakeholders. And all the other myriad possibilities of connections. Daily scrums are a good start.
4. Learn, fix and do it again.
Have retrospectives after every iteration. Gather feedback from everyone and have workshops to figure out how to do it better and then try out the new way. Lather, rinse, repeat.
5. Everyone does agile differently.
Don’t expect your team’s version of agile to look like anyone elses. Agile is rarely the same from organization to organization or even between teams in the same organization (and sometimes we’ve never done it the same from iteration to iteration with the same team – see 4 above). Everyone on the team will bring different perspective and peculiarities – roll with it – focus on finding the way your team works best.
Written by Steve Lohrenz, Development Manager.