Organizations are taking a more integrated approach by expanding agile principles and techniques. Many organizations are planning to apply agile into three different areas outside software development, which includes product development, portfolio management, and human resources.
The Agile development process is becoming popular for large enterprises, but often the enterprises fail during the implementation process due to various challenges such as specific skills, lack of practical experiences and no proper guidance, etc. However, we have tried in our article to cover a few pointers which are elaborated below on how one can transition the company into an Agile development process-
By Setting up a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
MVPs are widely used to facilitate cost-effective product development activities. This process will help to gain an understanding of the customers’ interest in your product without fully developing the product. It also helps in extracting information on what the end-users will do with the product which is much more authentic than asking people about how they will use the product. Moreover, this step will help the team save from gold plating.
By Creating a Single Product Backlog
Single product backlog consists of the prioritized tasks that can be utilized by the team. Product owner/manager is responsible for maintaining the content and availability in the backlog. Having a backlog helps the team to focus on the tasks that are highly prioritized and keep updating the contributions. Additionally, it also helps in complete coordination in the steps of developing a product with consistency and efficiency.
By Building a Synergetic Approach
A collaborative environment in Agile will always lead towards a better result. A product manager/owner, developer, and a tester need to go hand in hand because they are the ones who will be reviewing the requirements in the backlog. A product manager/owner will express the business need, the developer will explain about execution, and the tester detects possible problems. This approach encourages deriving different viewpoints and at the same time provides group harmony on project status.
By Using a Large Scale Agile Framework
Three major Agile frameworks are widely used in enterprises; Large Scale Scrum (LeSS), Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), and Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD). These frameworks are implemented with the help of guided multi-level training and certifications. However, with every big step, there comes a challenge and the difficulty in using Large Scale Agile Framework which may lead to the reorganizing of a hierarchical organization.
By Obtaining Certifications and Pursuing Courses
Some courses will help you and your team to handle the agile processes more effectively and efficiently. These courses are specifically developed for working professionals that gives an edge to run a successful project. There are courses such as Agile certified practitioner. Programs such as Professional Scrum Master and Certified Scrum Master help employees to review at least basic Scrum Knowledge.
These above steps will surely help you to scale the Agile development process. However, one may face some challenges to put the processes in place, especially in large enterprises. Therefore, below are a few pointers that have to be kept in mind to remove obstacles that may occur in the process-
Scaling up With an Agile State of Mind
Agile needs long-term commitment, and having this mindset of those involved in the process is essential. As the mindset is necessary, it is equally challenging to tackle the mindset. It is imperative to address this issue first, and once that is done, it will help your team members to know how to act toward their daily tasks. Moreover, this will help to measure the overall performance.
On the other hand, the understanding between the development team and the QA team should work together and consistently as they are highly dependent on each other to bring out the final result. The definition of the task “done” from the developers should be in sync with the QA team. Developers should comprehend that until the QA team gives a Green Signal; the work is incomplete and hence has to be improvised or may require changes.
Making an Effort to Apply Automation at the Earliest
Automation helps in the durability and quality of the overall product. It helps in detecting the regression faults in between the releases. Nevertheless, there are chances that the tests for automation will break if there are changes in the product. It can be tough to keep the tests for automation in sync with the development of the product, which requires a lot of effort by a trained professional. It can be strenuous to know-how and when to start writing automation tests, and also it might vary from projects to projects. Hence, it needs proper planning and strategy, and thereafter you can start with standard testing at an initial phase to check on the stability and then shift to complete automation.
First and the foremost thing in the evaluation process are to set objectives and define KPI (Key Performance Indicators) for your team. In Agile, the most important KPI is the Average Cycle Time. The Average Cycle Time calculates the time it needs to accomplish a characteristic in the backlog and specifies if the team is improving and getting the work done soon enough. The average cycle time can be adjusted once the team agrees on a reasonable Average Cycle Time. Another KPI that can be taken is WIP (Work in Progress); this specifies whether the team is opening a lot of development tracks or not, how focused is the team, and if the team has the time to start and complete any other additional features before the end of the sprint. These KPIs may vary from project to project.