Quick Guide for Enterprises to be Agile

Ohh how we miss the times when starting a business was a piece of cake! You decide on a product, invest the money, advertise, and then you sell.

And, the products sold like hotcakes. Well, not all of them, but that was the trend.

This is how a layman sees business. And we admit it was easy, but those days are behind us.

Having a solid product isn’t good enough, nor is having a hard-working team.

Now, running a company isn’t easy. You have to fight tooth and nail to keep a business afloat.

Enterprises need to be more and more innovative, agile and the first ones to get to their customers.

Remember we said, times were changing, you ever wonder, how? The focal point of businesses is now gravitating towards the customers.

But with IT, it has always been so. It is the services you offer to the customers that are important. How you do it, sets you apart.

A company does anything and everything to please a customer.

Age of Agile Customer

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Hail the Age of Customer! In this age, you don’t just need a good service but you need to treat your customers in the best way possible.

You need to offer them your best services in record time, within dream prices and customize according to their needs.

It is safe to say, Customers are the ruling tribe now. If you keep them happy, your business will be grinning from ear to ear.

But every company struggles, we all face roadblocks. There are some roadblocks which are common to every business:

Miscommunication

Companies have various departments that need to interact with each other frequently. But it so happens at times that the information gets misinterpreted.

This can happen due to many reasons, one of them maybe the gap between various teams. Teams maybe remote, time zone differences and lack of a centralized collaborative platform.

And this miscommunication between the teams hinders project progress and success.

Miscommunication

 

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Free flow of data is vital in an enterprise, but if things like data silos happen repeatedly this hampers the communication.

Information must flow through all the departments of the company seamlessly with ease of access & easily identifiable when needed.

Demotivated Teams

Not all teams can go around kicking ass like the Avengers.

Some suffer from lack of focus from time to time. It is a concern that must be addressed immediately.

The longer a team stays distracted the more the project delivery fails.

Distractions are due to scope creep, lack of visibility to task assignments, tasks inter-dependencies & lack of well defined project roles and responsibilities.

Moreover, when teams cannot see the impact of their work to the end goal added frustration kicks in.

Overridden Deadlines

This can be caused due to a variety of reasons. It may occur when a team fails to prioritize a task, or complete a sprint on time.

Such grave miscalculations and confusion cause project delays. And your team fails to meet the deadline.

These happen when the teams aren’t sure about the project goals, project timelines and try to do it all at once.

Exhausted Budgets

This is by far the most encountered crisis by any company.

Did you know that 82% of businesses fail because of budget problems, according to US Bank Study..

Tragic, isn’t it?

Budget

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With so many problems hovering above your head, you might think, it is impossible to get the job done. This is where Agile comes in.

Adopting agile methodology for your company can turn the wheels for you. You can overcome roadblocks, beat challenges, enhance productivity and basically be a kick-ass agile enterprise.

Why choose Agile? 

“A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little nor too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity. “  Geoffrey JamesTao of Programming

Let us be honest here, who doesn’t want to work fast and adapt faster? Everyone!

Agile is a process that ensures your development teams follow short, iterative development cycles and produce faster.

Agile Methodology has its own perks. Teams adapt faster to change, collaboration becomes the key, feedback becomes the Holy Grail and risk is minimal. What else do you need?

If you compare agile methodology with Waterfall Method you might get an idea of its advantages.

Waterfall methodology follows a process of successive steps, where there is no room for correction or improvement.

The end product may not be what you wanted. In Waterfall, there is progression only after total completion of the previous step. And the review happens after the product is built.

Waterfall-vs-Agile

(Source: cloudfront.net)

Implementing agile management is beneficial, but if you want to optimize its benefits then you need to do it the right way.

Here are a few tips to help your team transition smoothly into agile methodology.

Communication is a Tool

There are two sides responsible for the smooth running of a business- one is your customers, other is your team. You need to communicate with both of them openly.

We talked about how miscommunication can harm your workflow. Training your team to transparently communicate with each other promotes clutter free execution of your project.

It promotes seamless collaboration between departments and ensures faster resolution.

Communication

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Connecting with your customers is also equally important, Jake Barlett from TestLodge says –

Just like software teams, customers are also resistant to change. It’s important to build trust upfront. By engaging the customer the right way, you’ll build that trust and they will become more comfortable and excited about working with you in this capacity.”

Agile method relies on customer involvement and transparency. Their feedback and needs are your directions. And communicating with them is the best way to work on project delivery.

Collaboration is the Key

In traditional project management, various teams would mind their own business and stay out of the business of others.

Even though this sounds pretty appealing, believe me- it is not how you win.

To win, your departments need to collaborate round the clock. Cross-functional teams are the result of seamless collaboration.

Collaboration

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Collaboration is more than communication. Your team members need to work on the product together.

They need to prioritize and assign tasks and complete sprints quickly.

They should be fast in communicating, and swift in delivering. If all your departments are on the same page- you are bound to win.

A thing to keep in mind while working together is do not decide upfront. Evaluate your tasks together, and decide on what needs to be done. Team players don’t fly solo.

There is always some room for error

No idea is fool-proof, no document is saturated, no action is perfect, then how can you expect whatever you do to be the best?

When you adopt agile methodology, your chances of risks become minimal. But that doesn’t mean they are gone.

Every company needs to take calculated risks, just to test the waters. Imagine, if Magellan wouldn’t have gone on his voyage, then he would have never known that Earth is round.

And we would be stuck with the flat-earth theory. How do you plan on knowing what is working for your business if you never take risk?

Risk management is essential, but not taking chances will also blow your chances of success.

Risk Management

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Mark Zuckerberg said — “The biggest risk is not taking any risk. In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.

Trial and Error is the age old rule of persistence that brings success eventually. Let your team take risks, let your members think out of the box.

Agile management gives you enough freedom to try new things.

Set Goals. Smash them. Repeat 

The wonderful thing about agile methodology is the development cycle is small and iterative. Interact with your team members from various departments.

Set specific tasks keeping in mind the overall project goal. Link the tasks and figure out the priority.  A company can only win if there is alignment of team with the strategic goals

Project Goal

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What we care about at the end of the day is getting things done. So wake up, set your goals, smash them, and repeat.

Remember there is no one way to success. Your team should be flexible enough to adapt to changes made to their project goals.

A team always needs a project management tool. Orangescrum is one of the best collaborative tools that support agile project management. Both Kanban and scrum.

Give it a try, and see for yourself. You will love handling your team on a platform that is precise, modern and efficient.

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