Can’t spell Fragile without Agile ;) opening up to agile working

Multitasking, mucking in and team efforts are quite easy to automate when you are cleaning or perhaps putting up a marquee…

Splitting time-sensitive, technology-based tasks as easily.. not so simple, that’s where Agile practice comes into play.

Agile is surprisingly flexible, providing a set of values and principles to follow, a foundation that allows teams to make better decisions.

Based on the Agile manifesto there is no exact Agile methodology that has to be followed like a doctrine, in fact, Agile methods such as Kamban, Lean, Scrum et al; are more like the new testament bible; bearing in mind that the bible post 80–100 AD, has hundreds of versions in circulation, all leaning back on the strength of the old testament for structure.

The technology behemoth, IBM, has spent a long time perfecting an optimised version of Agile methodology, that helped them forge a new path for the business, states Max De Ycaza the Director of GTS, Technology, Innovation & Automation at IBM.

“With a rapidly expanding global ecosystem and mounting IT complexity, the unit needed a new, innovative way to manage the growth. With the task at hand, GTS turned to its Technology, Innovation & Automation group which set out to develop a new, agile methodology.

What it created was called, Agile for Services, a new way of doing everything from development to servicing clients.”

The takeaways that I have seen as very logical working methods within Agile are as follows:

Striving for a Minimum Viable Product

Create what you can as a team, that represents the expected final working product, “perfection is the enemy of progress” as Winston Churchill once said, in the world of design and development this is key to making a short sprint period productive.

The cultural norm of Show and tell

Showing and telling the team’s developments via standups what you have created in sprints, allows for mid-project reflection stages; that opens up the ability to see the progress from other perspectives and become nimble in your approach to changing whilst in a state of creation.

Honest reflection Did the team deliver?

The openness of having shorter sprint periods to assess the product gives teams more confidence, to be honest, about the effectiveness of the product overall or sprint.

Referring back to my title, fragility and vulnerability are welcome in Agile methodology, the opposite is hard-headedness that can leave teams with false hope and allow for a team to crumble out of pride and fear.

What I have taken from my experience of Agile working methods to date and looking at the wider scope of what it was originally designed for; has given me a newfound interest in applying Agile methods to projects in future; knowing the Agile manifesto takes my thinking up a notch as to how I could best apply the practical principles of the Agile working spectrum in order to help the culture within a business that I may join in the near future.

References

De Ycaza, M. (2018). Max De Ycaza. [online] https://www.ibm.com/. Available at: https://www.ibm.com/blogs/think/2018/05/how-ibms-biggest-business-unit-got-agile/ [Accessed Aug. 2022].