Agile

Agile is a set of Values & Principles, not a process framework. Agile methods or Agile processes generally promote a disciplined project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adaptation, a leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability, a set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software, and a business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals. 

Agile includes frameworks like SAFE, Extreme programming, Scrum, and Kanban methods, Crystal reporting etc. But using one of these frameworks doesn't make you Agile. What makes you Agile is a Mindset and Culture.

Value-Focused Culture

Agile is a mindset of personalizing the set of agile values and creating a value-focused culture. Modern Agile means following an iterative approach in our own personalized method. Every company, every project have their own culture and the best way to utilize Agile is to create your own Agile and that is referred to Modern Agile.

We provide consultants that are trained to help clients follow modern Agile methods, to  help you personalize your project management needs. 

Modern Agile

  • Modern Agile does not replace the Agile Manifesto; rather Modern Agile is a community for people (not just software delivery) interested in uncovering better ways of getting awesome results.
  • It leverages wisdom from many industries, is principle driven and framework free.

 

Pillars of Success

Agile consist of 4 major pillars

  • Collaboration
  • Software
  • React
  • Interact

A team that collaborates to understand the requirements so as to create iterative models of working software and reacting to any changes needed while building the iterations to make sure the software is safe by interacting with individuals and tools.

Challenges

We can feel like we’re focusing on the right things, but still not be agile These challenges can be mitigated by making sure the teams are not sacrificing quality. Statistics have proved teams that release products more often succeed more often. Individuals should focus on getting the software right the first time instead of experimenting over and again. Unrealistic expectations should be surfaced. 

 In order to remove the challenges, few things to keep in mind

  • Be Honest
  • Be Transparent
  • Be Humble
  • Be Awesome

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement leads to Success. Follow the below four principles of succeed to mitigate challenges and remove roadblockers. Remember Modern Agile means personalizing these principles according to your own needs.

Sprint Cycle

A sprint is a two to four week window where a set of people focus on set of stories. A story is a modern way of writing a requirement. A story has a template and we will discuss that template later. 

  • Consider Development sprint as sprint N
  • N-1 is the sprint before Dev Sprint. Usually when Front end development is involved in a project, this sprint is dedicated for UI/UX review and conformations/approvals for design, wireframe and content. "N-1" sprint is then referred to UI sprint
  • "N-2" is two sprints before Dev sprint. This sprint is referred as Business sprint. This is where Business teams sit together to write Business requirements commonly referred as Stories these days. 

Lets start as Release Planning as first step in a release. 

  • Release Planning happens in the beginning of a release. This is where Stakeholders, Dev Leads, Architects, Business teams, Business Analyst, Product managers and PMO sit togther and perform a release planning meeting to understand the vision for the specific release. Once Release planning is complete, Product Manager/Owner must come up with a roadmap. The roadmap will help teams understand high level of what features will go into which sprints.
  • Once Roadmap is shared, Business team sit together to write user stories and align the Business stakeholders with the current system and future needs. This happens in N-2 sprint. 
  • Once stories are written, UI/UX review the stories and create wireframes, design and content and gets it approved by the Business team. This happens in N-1 sprint. 
  • The approved UI/UX is used by the dev teams along with the Business stories, to create their IT tasks for both front and back end. The IT team performs the development work in Sprint N. They also have a daily stand up where every team member gives their status of what they will be doing today and if they have any roadblockers. 
  • On the last few days of Sprint N, a sprint review is performed where IT and Business come together to review the development work in order to experiment, iterate and succeed. 
  • A retrospective is performed after every sprint or once after two sprints to underrostand what could be done better in order to succeed. This is primarily an IT effort but experiences have confirmed if kept anonymous, it is a successful retrospective if Business and IT does this as a joint effort. The team size should not exceed 9-10 members for a successful retrospective. 

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