Agile management, the short version
Agile management is a workflow philosophy and framework that emphasizes self-managing teams that deliver project requirements in iterations and increments (rather than all at once at the very end) and allows requirements to evolve over time. Ultimately, agile helps make better, more user-centered products in less time.
Agile management, the longer version
Anyone who has worked on a professional project knows how it usually goes: The boss hands down the instructions from on high, you spend a long time planning how to deliver, you implement your plans, you test your products, perhaps you review and refine, and then you deploy your product, and you’re done. Each of the steps can take months to complete.
This is called “waterfall” project management. It’s linear and sequential. There are concrete steps and you never go back, just like you never go back up the waterfall once you go down it.
There are several potential problems with this approach. Most importantly, if you spend months planning and building before you test and validate the basic idea of your product, what happens if it’s not what your customers or clients want? You’ve wasted tons of time and money.
“Agile” management addresses this problem. Under agile, rather than having one long plan, build, test, deploy sequence, the team institutes several cycles often just a week or two in length. You launch a “potentially shippable product” or “minimum viable product” as quickly as humanly possible, with as little planning as possible. You then test that product, understanding what is most hindering it from providing maximum value to the client. You then run another cycle to build and deliver another product feature addressing that core hindrance, and on and on.
This series of short “sprints” helps your project team quickly and relatively cheaply validate what is truly valuable, while also building in flexibility that allows you to adapt to changing circumstances in the world. Each sprint gives you a new opportunity to understand and adapt to what you perceive to be the customers’ core needs at that moment.
There are many specific methodologies for implementing the more broad agile management philosophy and framework. Perhaps the most well-known methodology is called “Scrum.” Sometimes, people conflate or confuse “agile” and “scrum.” Remember that a scrum methodology is one of many ways to implement agile values. Others include Kanban, XP, and FDD.
Can your organization or team benefit from a more nimble, agile approach to project management?
Agile management, in practice
Agile For All is an Agile and Scrum consulting firm dedicated to encouraging and facilitating implementation of agile principles.
It guides companies through the nuances and challenges required to adopt Agile techniques, principles and values, drawing from processes such as Scrum and XP, Kanban, Lean Thinking, Theory of Constraints, psychology, anthropology, and more.
Agile for All provides training and coaching for teams, organizations, and individuals.
To learn more, go to: https://agileforall.com/
by Stephen Denning
An unstoppable business revolution is under way – and it is Agile. Companies that embrace Agile Management learn to connect everyone and everything…all the time. They can deliver instant, intimate, frictionless value on a large scale.
Kindling makes a commission for purchases made through links in this section
- There is no objective definition of humanity. There is no objective time when humanity began. These are all stories we created for ourselves to help make sense of our world. Read More »
- 155 businesses, representing five million employees and a combined market capitalization of over $2 trillion USD, are urging governments around the world to develop economic recovery policies responding to COVID-19 that also advance climate goals over the short- and long-terms. Read More »
- Earlier this month, social media giant Twitter announced a new policy counteracting unchecked misinformation and harmful content on its platform. This week, it begun implementing its new policy on the highest stage possible - warning users against President Trump's reckless and unsubstantiated claims. Read More »
- Perhaps the most heroic thing I can do is to let go of the need to be the Hero. Read More »
- This new data demonstrates significant progress in reducing both overall incarceration across the country and the disproportionate effects of our justice system on communities of color. Read More »