It is well known that organizations using Agile practices enjoy several benefits such as improved quality, increased focus on delivering business value, and stakeholder engagement. However, without a change of mindset, using Agile practices will become routinary and will gradually lose their effectiveness.
This is the main reason why embracing the Agile mindset is crucial for any organization.
But what is this so called Agile mindset?
To really understand what is the Agile mindset we need to look at the 4 values stated in the Agile Manifesto for Software Development.
#1 Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Do not put a burden on people by implementing processes or tools that don’t have a positive impact in their day to day tasks. For example, excessive time spent on meetings to review the project plan and timelines causes communication to become tiresome.Can the development team customize the process as necessary?
Is the team level of collaboration becoming stronger?
Is the tool helping the team to be quicker and efficient?
These are questions you might want to ask yourself to check how much you are relying on processes and tools over individuals and interactions.
#2 Working software over comprehensive documentation
Focus on delivering true value, to both, the organization and customers through the right outcome. Avoid wasting efforts and resources on things that do not add any value.
The above statement does not mean you shouldn’t document your project, but instead you should focus more on the documents necessary to support the development of the project. In addition, all remaining effort would be better invested into producing high quality features.
#3 Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Always ask yourself:How can I improve collaboration?
Is there a way I can make handoffs and discussions less painful?
How are my current legal instruments hindering the ability to quickly adapt my customer needs?
Of course this depends on the legal nature of your business/project. However, keep in mind no formal document can really guarantee things will go as expected. But, a strong collaborative relationship will definitely be more helpful during the software development project.
#4 Responding to change over following a plan
Adapting is more than welcomed and expected in Agile.
Make sure you empower the ability of your team to embrace uncertainty. Business needs can change in a short period of time and you need to be able to quickly react to it, otherwise, your organization can be left in an adverse situation.
True and long-lasting benefits lie within embracing the Agile values and principles, the practices are a manifestation of it. In conclusion, without a change of mindset, it is only a matter of time for the current processes to become slow and obsolete.
Doing Agile is not enough, you have to be Agile.
About the author
Graduated from Computer Science Engineering from Universidad Centroamericana “José Simeón Cañas”. Carlos has over 12 years of experience in Web Development and Project Management. He’s currently a Solutions Architect at Applaudo Studios.