Agile has revolutionsed how companies of any size manage complex projects and deliver value in an iterative, cost-effective and people centric way. Agile as a concept has undergone quite a significant change since the early days of it’s inception after the release of Agile Manifesto. But few core principles which are the pillars or core tenets around which the methodology has evolved.
One of the most important yet overlooked principle of Agile methodology is that of Daily Teamwork. It emphasises that teams working on a project should meet daily so that everyone is on the same page about the project’s current status. That is why Agile teams put lot of energy in conducting daily standups to discuss progress made by every members and also to understand if there are any impediments for those tasks.
Timelines are the heart of an agile project. Ofcourse it is impossible to meet 100% of deadlines all the time, but building an ethic where timelines are respected and every attempt is made to deliver on time, is the secret sauce of most successful agile projects. Outlining clear timelines for individual issues and overall sprint really creates a positive reinforced pressure which encourages the team to do more.
All learning systems whether organic, societal or machine based , learn through a system of supervised or unsupervised reinforced feedback. A positive or negative feedback helps the system to adapt to the change and how fast this change occurs is a function of speed of feedback loop. Agile teams which have consistently outperformed other teams show a very strong bias towards rapid feedback for the work delivered. Small iterations based agile paradigm is based entirely on this concept of feedback and adaptability. Teams who strive for rapid feedback tend to put lot of weightage on automation and tooling, so that every single ‘commit’ or ‘minimum delta change of system’ ends up in staging production like environment and gives instant feedback to the team.
No project can reach the success or the potential it deserves if the team members are not sufficiently motivated. So Agile becomes a lot about understanding the needs and inner motivations of the people involved and aligning it with the project’s goal to co create value of highest possible quality. So making sure that team memebers have best in class tools to do their jobs ( if setup passes Joel’s test in case of software based projects ) and they don’t face any roadblocks — psychological or tactical — to deliver nothing short of their 100%.
Technology market landscape has become a shape-shifting metamorphosing dynamic organism. With new products, services and technologies cropping up at absolute scorching pace, not embracing change is a sure shot way to join the graveyards of irrelevance and your software joining the hall of vapourware fame. So embracing this level of change and infusing a sense of dynamism within your team is the best hedge you can have. It is not about how much knowledge you have but it is how much capacity to learn do you have and how much of that you are able to translate into adapting to those market stimuli. Agile emphasis teams to embrace this change as the only constant.