It has been observed that Agile teams overall tend to be 25% more productive in comparison to the non-agile teams following all other methodologies, especially the ones which never follow agile fashion. As a result, more and more businesses are found switching towards agile software development methodologies across the globe. First and foremost, let us get the basics right.
What is an Agile Methodology?
For those who don’t know, Agile methodology is basically a project management approach or a way or strategy to conduct a successful development project by prioritizing cross-functional collaboration and continuous improvement. Basically, no matter how small or large the software development project is, it is supposed to be divided into smaller phases, teams or segments, ensuring absolute planning, execution, and evaluation. The ultimate objectives of agile methodology is are as follows:
Focus more on individuals and interactions instead of processes and tools
Simply work on the software instead of comprehensive documentation
Deconstructing into small chunks and making things well-organized
Seamless customer collaboration instead of contract-based negotiation
Responding to change instead of rigidly following the plan
Ensure transparency and give importance to quick feedback
1. Quick Progress - One of the obvious benefits of choosing the agile methodologies is that you are bound to receive quick and faster progress. Not to mention the overall time of conducting a development project lessens and instant feedback can be offered in real-time. Professionals keep on producing working prototypes as well as relevant demos throughout the process.
2. Alignment between customer and stakeholder - For any software development company, two parties are pretty much important, focusing on the necessary concerns of the customers and relevant feedback from the stakeholders. Agile teams are simply meant to satisfy the needs of all these key people.
3. Continuous improvement - And lastly, Agile methodology highly gives importance to constant improvement until and unless they haven’t reached the end results.
Some of the common types of Agile Methodologies include:
Scrum - If the project requirements keep on changing at a rapid pace then Scrum must be taken into consideration.
Kanban - The entire project progress is visualized and turns out to be the best for the task requiring a steady output.
Lean - Here the entire process is streamlined, so there is no scope for any kind of wastage of time as well as customer value.
Extreme Programming - As the name implies, here the overall quality of the software developed is enhanced and made sure that everything works in order to satisfy the end customers.
Adaptive Project Framework - Works extremely well for projects with uncertain or unclear details and has the potential to make necessary changes with the changing needs.
Now many of you have this misconception that Agile methodologies and traditional approaches are the same. Which is definitely not the case here! Earlier, when software development companies were compelled to use traditional approaches, they had to whether they liked it or not strictly follow the linear sequence. First to collect all the requirements, then plan, then develop, test and deploy. In order to move to the very next phase they had to accomplish the previous phase. So when testing was conducted and samples of bugs or defects were found, as a result, the entire development cycle was repeated again and again, wasting ample time, energy and money.
How to Use Agile Methodologies to Boost Your Productivity?
Now before we pop right onto the answer, one needs to understand the typical corporate scenario. What happens is any company or organization emphasizes on conducting regular meetings and meet-ups, and conferences. In fact, all this has become so staple that sometimes employees get so messed up in these meetings that it reduces their overall productivity. Yes, regular meetings can act as a bottleneck to productivity and efficiency. As a result, you find your employees frequently missing deadlines and get piled under additional work on top of what’s already been assigned. So if you as well as your employees are struggling in keeping up then the following post is definitely meant for you. Here I would like to mention some crucial tips to consider to boost productivity. How to use Agile methodology so that your employees can dedicate more brain power instead of finding themselves lost and unprepared. Basically, how to create a better workday using agile methodologies.
1. Create an Agile Environment
The first and foremost thing to do is try developing an agile environment for everyone in the workspace. Chances are pretty high that the term agile might sound pretty new to you but trust me it isn’t. The concept originated in the IT industry way back and since then it has gained popularity like none other. Slowly and steadily everyone in the industry began praising agile innovative methods.
So what does it mean by establishing an agile environment? Well, it surely means focusing on the overall work culture and performance instead of being rigid to the predetermined guidelines and plans. Basically, to get rid of barriers or bottlenecks, sometimes one has to take a detour or come up with a different approach to achieve the ultimate objective.
2. No-Meeting Zones
As mentioned earlier, sometimes planning to increase productivity can significantly cause hindrance, especially conducting endless meetings every day. Now I am not saying that you need to get rid of this concept entirely, there is no going away from it. But what can be done is you can definitely reduce the number of meetings or you can simply opt for daily checkups, schedule relevant time for workflow and allow your employees to focus on the core competencies.
Sometimes these regular meetings can be so daunting that it can interrupt your employees to accomplish the tasks, time to let them collaborate and concentrate well. Do not keep calling them, let them do their jobs, don't even bother to stop by their workstation or try keeping regular tabs or keep disturbing them unnecessarily.
Work becomes more efficient when the workday is well-structured and manageable in smaller chunks. Also, whenever you try organizing a meeting make sure the entire organization or department is included in all the meetings.
3. Strategize and Prioritize Wisely
The next interesting way to boost overall productivity is by strategizing and prioritizing wisely. When you run an organization, of course, an ample amount of tasks arises now one cannot cover it all at the same time. I mean you should be able to strategize and prioritize wisely. Do not broadcast work like a grass seed, many times it becomes a breeding ground for accomplishing unnecessary tasks. As a result, it goes against the grain of an agile environment. Also, bifurcate precisely on who all needs to be included and who shouldn't be.
In the end, it’s all about getting all the work done so stick to your pre decided agenda and move ahead.
The next amazing thing to do to boost your productivity is by offering transparency. You see it has been observed that people work in a better manner when they aren’t working in silos. You see when you hire someone who acts as the jack of all means he would be juggling between this and that and in the end, he won’t be able to finish any of those tasks. So choose someone who not only knows what they are doing but also has a better perspective about what their teammates are doing. As a result, there is no scope for any kind of misconceptions or misunderstandings. Also, this ensures better decision making and better quality products, all thanks to the increased efficiency of the team.
5. Let Them Own it
Last but certainly not least is when you are ready to offer responsibility, you must allow them to take control of the same as well. You see when you enable your employees to own their work, you will find how willingly they work and sometimes go an extra mile because of the credit they will be receiving in the end. Without appreciation nothing works. We all are humans, craving for appreciation is something we all adore. Also, this definitely increases lots and lots of efficiency and productivity. One of the best aspects about agile methodologies is that it comprises a very few hierarchies and bureaucracies. Give your employees more leeway or freedom to do their jobs and also offer alternative work arrangements such as remote work and flexible scheduling, etc.
Over to You!
So this is it! I hope now you know how the agile philosophy works and more importantly, how one can enhance productivity and efficiency by making the most of this methodology. To know more about agile ways of working, keep watching the space.