How to implement Agile?
If you’ve decided that the Agile methodology is the right approach for your project, customer, and company, here are five steps on how to implement Agile successfully.
Step 1: Get stakeholder buy-in
Agile emphasizes collaboration and teamwork, both within the project team, customer, and other key stakeholders such as your project sponsor and vendors. In order to successfully adopt Agile, it’s critical that everyone is on board before you begin. Talk to the key players, explain the benefits of Agile, answer any questions they have, and make sure their concerns are addressed.
Step 2: Start with one project
The whole concept of Agile is to focus on iterative and incremental progress. This means the best way to implement Agile across your whole organization is to start with one small project, get feedback, learn from it, and then start applying it to other projects.
Step 3: Focus on empowering and motivating your team
Agile projects rely on team members to communicate, collaborate, and problem solve. If your project team isn’t engaged and motivated, an Agile approach won’t be successful. After all, one of the key principles of Agile is to build projects around motivated individuals, give them the support needed, and then trust them to get the job done.
Step 4: Choose a framework and stick with it
Agile can introduce significant changes to the way your team is used to doing things. To gain lasting adoption, it’s important to select an outline of an Agile framework in the beginning and then stick to it rigorously. For instance, if you choose to implement Scrum, make sure you have daily Scrum meetings, no matter how busy everyone says they are.
Step 5: Revise and adjust
It’s critical to follow a proven Agile project management process when you’re first implementing the methodology. After all, when everyone is new and learning, it’s not a good time to start experimenting with hybrid frameworks or changing the rules mid-sprint.
However, a key part of Agile is taking the time to hold a retrospective to understand what’s working and what isn’t, and then making changes to improve. So, at the end of every sprint, and at the completion of your first Agile project, it’s critical that you bring the team together to discuss the path moving forward. If something isn’t working, it may be time to try a different Agile framework or make other changes.
Keep in mind that Agile is meant to be iterative. Implementing Agile should therefore be embraced in the same way. Start small, focus on tactical actions that can be accomplished over short periods, assess what is and isn’t working, be open to improvements and changes, collaborate and communicate frequently, and make changes as needed.