Agile is the way forward. More and more development teams and startups adopt Agile as a methodology. Paired with approaches like continuous delivery, Agile development is a project management method that will completely change the way you handle projects.
Agile as a method is also very flexible. It is a method that is primarily implemented in app or web development, but you can adopt Agile to manage other types of projects too. To supercharge your development projects from the start, you want to keep these next few tips in mind.
Get Management Support
One thing you cannot live without when implementing Agile is the support of top management. Agile is a very top-to-bottom project management approach, which means you will have to get approval of your superiors with every iteration of the development project. That approval process is a known bottleneck in many Agile workflows.
Getting the support of top-level management from the start is also beneficial for the projects you are managing using Agile. Projects can be completed faster and more accurately, which means iterations can be released to the market at an equally fast pace. You will be surprised by how many new features you can introduce once the ball is rolling.
Involve More People
The more your team members understand about the Agile method and how it is best implemented, the more effective your implementation of Agile will be. This is where bringing everyone up to speed and getting all stakeholders involved is highly beneficial.
Today, you can provide team members with Agile training sessions. The courses and different programs available on the market are designed for people of different backgrounds and understanding levels, so there is a training course for everyone (not just the project managers).
Eliminate Hardware Bottlenecks
Providing developers with capable hardware for both development and testing is a must. Investing in better development and testing devices will yield substantial results. For starters, you no longer have to worry about the development machine not powerful enough for the entire team.
At the same time, you can go through iterations faster thanks to faster deployment and testing. Rather than waiting for the right time to test new microservices, for instance, you can have them deployed in a local machine and tested immediately.
Once the pods – the microservices – are completely stable and bug-free, you can continue with deploying those pods to the cloud and updating your app or web service. The process also results in zero downtime and higher user satisfaction.
Implement Continuous Delivery
Continuous delivery is a crucial part of the Agile method. While there are different approaches to adopt when implementing Agile, CI/CD remains the most attractive one for teams of developers. Combined with the use of containers like Kubernetes, continuous delivery becomes the best way to go through multiple iterations quickly.
With Kubernetes and CI/CD, you always have the option to revert changes if needed. More importantly, you don’t have to alter the entire app for the update to be committed. You just need to update certain pods or microservices, and Kubernetes will handle everything else for you. There are also training programs on how to fully maximize the benefits of using Kubernetes in an Agile environment.
Put Emphasis on Results
Another thing to remember about Agile as a method for managing projects is its near absolute focus on results. When you use Agile to manage projects, you are expected to combine resources and come up with the right features to add. Executing the development of those features is something that needs to happen quickly as well.
Putting emphasis on results lowers the stress you put on your team. While quality is still a primary factor to take into account, getting great results becomes something that can be achieved without making the development project too complicated.
This is also where the support of top management matters. Every result needs to be checked and approved and having top managers who are involved in the decision-making process supporting your move towards Agile will be a huge plus as you work on more iterations in the future.
Adjust Your Cycle
You don’t have to stick with the conventional cycle of Agile development. In fact, there is no Agile rule that you cannot break if it means adapting the method for your own team. Seamless integration of the Agile method is far more important than following best practices.
For example, you can do a Go or No Go for every feature that passes the ideation stage. This means development can focus on individual features rather than a big update. As a result, those smaller features can reach the market (and the users) much faster.
Adjusting your cycle also works in reverse. When you see a drop in quality as you push for more iterations, perhaps it is time to extend deadlines and make adjustments to the way the project is managed. You are safeguarding the success of the whole project by doing so.
Automation is your best friend whenever you need to boost output without expanding the team. Automation comes in different forms these days, and integrating automation with existing workflows is very easy to do. You can, for instance, automate Git commits or organize notes into project documentation without doing it manually.
Automation is about to expand to more areas of the development project too. Automated testing and monitoring are already very popular on the market, so it is only a matter of time before more parts of the development tasks get automated and streamlined.
Speaking of streamlining tasks, automation also lets you focus on the more important tasks and understand the bigger picture clearly. Some teams even go as far as being able to spot errors before they have real impacts on the rest of the system.
One last thing you must never forget about implementing Agile is the people. Are your team members ready for Agile? Do they have what it takes to succeed in the new environment? Will your team members adapt to Agile as well as you did?
Answer these questions and you will be able to set an effective team ratio based on functions required in your project. You will always have the right UI designers, capable UX designers, and smart programmers, making getting closer to your dream app – and development workflow – easier.
One last thing you will need is perseverance. There will be challenges to face along the way. Some team members may complain about the complexity of Agile as a system. Agile is also not the easiest method to master, but mastering it is well worth the time, money, and effort spent. Mastering Agile will transform the way you work. Soon, more startups will adopt this method and start rolling out updates on a regular basis. You and your company can too. Once you adopt the Agile method, you will not want to return to conventional project management.