The agile way of software project management is a paradigm shift from the traditional models, such as Waterfall and others. The agile approach provides much more visibility in the software development life cycle and is one of the most popular project management practices being followed world-wide. Albeit it has many benefits, you should be aware of the best strategies and practices that should be followed in an enterprise for success of the agile philosophy. In essence, to leverage the benefits of agile, one should understand that agile requires discipline. This article presents an overview of the best strategies and practices that can be adopted for the success of agile.
Yes, you need organizational support for the success of the agile philosophy. Let's understand why. There would be a lot of resistance initially because there are many control-oriented, power hungry bureaucrats who would become uncomfortable if agile philosophy is adopted in an enterprise. Agile is a paradigm shift—a cultural shift, to be more precise. Despite the fact that de-bureaucratized organizations can quickly adapt to innovating new ideas and agile methodology, there are many organizations where bureaucracy prevails.
The success of the agile philosophy depends a lot on organizational commitment. For an agile project—a software project that abides by the agile principles and practices to be a success—there should be management support to the maximum extent. Success of the agile philosophy also depends on the organization's commitment towards embracing agile methodologies and practices. Selecting the right tools and technologies and imparting the needed training to all those who are part of the team is also a necessity.
Identify the Right Tools and Impart Training
Because the agile software development methodology represents a major change from the traditional approach towards managing your software process, you need a mentor to help you know and learn the agile practices. You desperately need an agile coach and a scrum master who has the needed experience in practicing agile methodologies in an enterprise. Similarly, you should be able to identify the right tools and technologies and ensure that proper training is imparted on them, too. There should be learnability amongst the team members and they should be able to come out of their respective comfort zones.
Plan and Act Accordingly
It should be noted that agile is just a software development methodology and it does in no way replace the organization's strategies and values. It is just a vision that, if followed wisely, can reap many benefits for your organization. To ensure the success of agile, you and your organization should plan and act accordingly. You should have a clearly defined product vision and roadmap. Your release plans, sprint plans, and daily plans should be made available and should be followed strictly. The basic idea behind the success of agile is that you document less but you should provide enough clarity and visibility on your software development process. You also should document the risks involved in the software development life cycle and come up with plans to mitigate such risks.
Start Small, Get Feedback, and Improve Continuously
Instead of trying to make the transition organization wide, across all projects, you should start small. This would lower the risk and would not need much of an effort, either. The initial cost also would be less because you would just need a few resources to be involved initially. Hence, this would be less expensive, while at the same time, provide you an opportunity to inculcate the agile vision into the employees of your enterprise. Once you start small, begin getting feedback early in the cycle and try improving the process continuously. Agile is a mind-set; therefore, it would need a lot of time, dedication, discipline, and effort to make it a success.
This article presented a glimpse of the best practices and strategies that can be adapted by an enterprise for the success of agile methodology in an enterprise. Happy reading!