Agile for Business World: The Beginner's Guide

Author: İnanc Civaz
Relevant Service: Organizational Transformation & Change Management
Contact: inanc.civaz

Agile for Business World: The Beginner's Guide

 November 28th, 2017

 

The Agile method of working and its manifest -only 68 words long-, which was created by 12 leader-spirited young software developers in 2001 is very simple in thought: The interaction between people and change is on long-term planning and documentation!

Of course, every simple idea may not be so simple in the practice. However, the success of companies that are loyal to this idea and able to implement indicates an interesting target. Instagram, a team of 13 people have created it after an only 15-month working period was sold for a figure over 1 billion dollars in 2011. An exemplary company Spotify where Agile practice transformed into working culture, worths 8 billion dollars.

 

 

As we briefly summarized last week; Agile has an approach that keeps the interaction between people, collaboration with the customer and respond to change over overcoming long-term plans and documentation. Agile is a way of working fully focused on producing what is best for the client, including the best/liked/preferred product, including the customer, into the whole team. Naturally, one of the most discussed issues about Agile is whether this is a working methodology or a cultural exchange.

 

Where did Agile come from?

After the industrial revolution, the concept of increasing the productivity in production (see The Principles of Scientific Management) emerged by Frederick Taylor have dominated bureaucratic departments, silo-organized structures and hierarchial working order production process which are still being used in the business life. However, this operation model, which was a great success of the period, demonstrated that 21st century business life, where technological developments are dizzying and generations are differentiated, requires some improvement areas. New generation companies that want to be independent of silos, want to act fast and be customer-centric have also pioneered the emergence of Agile working methodology. 

 

Briefly Agile and the Secrets of its Success

Primarily, agile means understanding an end user and its needs/expectations absolutely and working by focusing on giving the most appropriate product/service to their expectation fast. To create a user story in order for agile to be successful: it is very critical to be able to move in the optimum space in order for understanding our users' needs correctly and analyze them correctly.

Prioritizing user stories uncovered in Agile and developing a product/service as a team in a two to four weekly running sprint working blocks, called iterations, is essential for both the methodology and the product to be successful.

While the user is creating the story, these details are being used as test and hypothesis tools to create a valuable product/service. Whilst these iterations are being discovered, it is necessary to understand clearly; who the end user is, what kind of life he/she has, what kind of needs do they have and what the team can do to them. These details are being used as test and hypothesis tools to create a valuable product/service. 

The user story can be perceived as a facilitator for team discussion and a collaborative area for product/service development. The product with the features that fit the user story is presented to the end user with pilot tests and then the agile work process is completed by making the revisions according to the feedback and putting out the product/service to the market (outcome).

Although it is not the direct topic of this article, in addition to the critical points mentioned above with regards to the product/service (outcome), the most important prequities for the success of Agile project is that sprint team's communication with each other should be open, respectful and isolated from the hierarchial role.

Naturally, carrying out an evaluation (retrospective) with the whole team after each sprint will contribute to making time for the next one.

In our next article, we will touch upon the processual review of the Agile methodology through the concepts of iteration, evaluation and user stories under the title of "How should we start applying the Agile methodology?" that we briefly mentioned in this article.

 

 

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