Friday, September 27, 2013

What is the ONE most important thing to focus on when adopting Agile?

Agile as emergent software project methodology becomes mainstream, however, Agile adoption can be complicated. There are rituals, tools, artifacts, meetings, etc... it's a BIG change. What is the highest priority for helping a team, department, or company adopt Agile

Common Understanding the goals and principle of Agile: Focus on at the start is to come up with a clear statement of what it is that you want to achieve from adopting agile. It is important for all individuals involved in the project to understand the principles and goals behind agile, Having everyone on the team with the same understanding of what is Agile and how it going to work for this team, and understanding of what the team/company hopes to achieve, and how, through agility is critical for success.
  • Trust (or the willingness and openness for trust) is essential for true Agile transformation (rather than just the adoption of some of the practices). Trust between team members and trust between management/ stakeholders and team trust that the issues illuminated by the agile approach will be honestly examined and an attempt made to address them regardless of the root cause, and trust that everyone will do their part, trust as a precursor for the feedback that enables continuous improvement
  • Continuous improvement from iteration to iteration, whether the sprint is 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks or more, it gets the team focused on what they need to do to improve. This tends to get the team focused on collaboration, measuring their success and all kinds of other good "Agile" behaviors.
  • Transparency: By adopting agile practices, you can eliminate the ‘tunnel effect’ and bring forth transparency and trust into software project development. Agile teams along with the product owner (client proxy) would prioritize the business requirements as per ‘highest business value’ and deliver them in smaller lots. The technical infrastructure adopted by agile teams would ensure that the KPIs and metrics used for reporting are derived from the working product and are not mere guesswork. 
  • Stories are the currency of agile, and if you do not set this in the beginning, then you are trying to set a monetary policy with debased currency. By defining a story, all the differences in attitude, behavior and process are forced out in the open.
Agile is an emergent and complex methodology, besides trust, continuous-improvement, understanding agile, communication, stories, the emphasis also needs to put on communication and clarity, adaptation and inspection.., Agile focuses on Team, how to build up a high-performance agile team is the key success factor in project delivery.


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