Agile Business Practices

While many think of Agile as a modern method of software development,  today it is has been successfully implelemnted to improve, strengthen and sustain many business aspects.

Below are a number of key Agile considerations for Agile business leadership success 

Treat everybody as your customer

Agile working is about delivering value to customers, for internal projects your workforce is your customer.

Create mixed skilled teams

Teams need to be multi-skilled, ensure there is the right mix, including a senior management member when fast business-aligned decision need to be made and management hurdles overcome. 

Don't be afraid to experiment

It is often impossible to know upfront the best solution that will provide the right value. Don't be afraid to allow agile teams to experiment, moreover encourage experimentation.  

Make sure that teams understand that experiments will fail, that it is ok, but failure needs to be acknowledged fast, there should be no time to be wasted on anything that is not going to provide the right value.

Communicate clear values

Agile working mean allowing your staff teams to self manage and take control of their work and projects.

Without clearly defined and communicated business values then you cannot expect agile teams make the right descisions to succeed

Value, Value, Value

If the customer cannot find value in a project, why would that project exist? Similar if the project does not align with business goals and values it would never be progressed. 

Make you Agile team accountable

Agile teams need to deliver, along with the freedom granted to self-manage, so does the expectation of delivered value. If a team is not delivering value, then something will need to change. Does the team have the right mix of skills? Do they understand the companies values and goals? Do they need training or mentoring? If all else fails, the best option may break up that team and reallocate the member separately into working agile teams.

Break up the work into small valuable deliverables

It is often impossible to know upfront the best solution that will provide the right value. Don't be afraid to allow agile teams to experiment, moreover encourage experimentation.  

Make sure that teams understand that experiments will fail, that it is ok, but failure needs to be acknowledged fast, there should be no time to be wasted on anything that is not going to provide the right value.

Ensure team members share process daily

It is often impossible to know upfront the best solution that will provide the right value. Don't be afraid to allow agile teams to experiment, moreover encourage experimentation.  

Make sure that teams understand that experiments will fail, that it is ok, but failure needs to be acknowledged fast, there should be no time to be wasted on anything that is not going to provide the right value.

Reward the team, not the individuals

It is often impossible to know upfront the best solution that will provide the right value. Don't be afraid to allow agile teams to experiment, moreover encourage experimentation.  

Make sure that teams understand that experiments will fail, that it is ok, but failure needs to be acknowledged fast, there should be no time to be wasted on anything that is not going to provide the right value.

Focus on prorities

Create a backlog

Begin with highly visually, highly valuable and achieve projects 

It is often impossible to know upfront the best solution that will provide the right value. Don't be afraid to allow agile teams to experiment, moreover encourage experimentation.  

Make sure that teams understand that experiments will fail, that it is ok, but failure needs to be acknowledged fast, there should be no time to be wasted on anything that is not going to provide the right value.

Create short sprints

Agile teams need to deliver, along with the freedom granted to self-manage, so does the expectation of delivered value. If a team is not delivering value, then something will need to change. Does the team have the right mix of skills? Do they understand the companies values and goals? Do they need training or mentoring? If all else fails, the best option may break up that team and reallocate the member separately into working agile teams.

Team Reflection

Agile teams need to deliver, along with the freedom granted to self-manage, so does the expectation of delivered value. If a team is not delivering value, then something will need to change. Does the team have the right mix of skills? Do they understand the companies values and goals? Do they need training or mentoring? If all else fails, the best option may break up that team and reallocate the member separately into working agile teams.

Stop long term planning, revisits values and goals regularly

Agile teams need to deliver, along with the freedom granted to self-manage, so does the expectation of delivered value. If a team is not delivering value, then something will need to change. Does the team have the right mix of skills? Do they understand the companies values and goals? Do they need training or mentoring? If all else fails, the best option may break up that team and reallocate the member separately into working agile teams.

Leaderships should not to directly manage, its role is to coach, training and generally mentor staff.

Agile teams need to deliver, along with the freedom granted to self-manage, so does the expectation of delivered value. If a team is not delivering value, then something will need to change. Does the team have the right mix of skills? Do they understand the companies values and goals? Do they need training or mentoring? If all else fails, the best option may break up that team and reallocate the member separately into working agile teams.

Don't forget about HR

Agile teams need to deliver, along with the freedom granted to self-manage, so does the expectation of delivered value. If a team is not delivering value, then something will need to change. Does the team have the right mix of skills? Do they understand the companies values and goals? Do they need training or mentoring? If all else fails, the best option may break up that team and reallocate the member separately into working agile teams.

​© 2020 by Glen Olsen

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