It is becoming more and more evident that the future of Agile lies in large companies and scaled approaches. It may be hard to believe at first, but the data of Agile usage in 2015 proves this is where the methodology is going next. One of the most popular ways to scale Agile today is Scrum of Scrums. And while many companies have adopted this practice already, we thought it might be interesting for others to know just how exactly it works.
Scrum of Scrums has been originally defined by Jeff Sutherland and is designed to deliver working software of all teams to the Definition of Done at the end of the Sprint. To make sure this happens, the Scrum of Scrums Master is held accountable and has to be able to ensure that all the processes works. But before getting into the details, let us step back to the beginning.
The recently released State of Agile Report has not only brought great statistics, but also raised a few questions about just where Agile might be heading next. How will it look like in a couple of years, which interest groups will shape it and how much of what we today call Agile will actually change?
To get a better grip on these and other questions, we took another hard look at the stats and came up with what we think the answers will be. Check out the info-graphic below to find our predictions for the future of Agile.
As any project manager would tell you, having a great team is one of the key factors in project success. They will help you face the challenges, look for solutions and deliver a result that you are looking for. Agile teams are no exception and can either help you to achieve goals or be a destructive force for the whole project. So how do you form an Agile team that will bring the success you are looking for?
The most important thing you have to understand is that the traditional teams and Agile teams are two quite different things. Simply slapping new titles on the old team does not an Agile team make. The key difference between a traditional and an Agile team is that the latter has to be completely self-sufficient. In other words, it has to be diverse and independent enough to produce a working, tested increment of a product. To make sure your new Agile team can do that, there are a few things you should be aware of.
While for the traditional teams it might be perfectly fine to have five designers and no developers, this will be nowhere near okay for Agile. By definition itself, Agile teams have to be diverse enough to produce a working part of the product. This means that an Agile team has to be made of just the people that are needed to do that.
When starting to adopt agile, most of us have some misconceptions about the practice. Some think the amount of work will go down greatly, others throw out all the documentation and even suffer through the first stand-up meetings. Eventually this passes, but we thought it would be fun to remember those first days with a few of our favorite Agile comic strips.
- Is anything actually changing?
- Why are we standing again?
There is no doubt Agile is no longer just a practice for developers. It has moved past only serving the small teams, past the specific types of teams and past the specific industries. While that is all widely known, sometimes it is still tough to grasp just how far Agile methods have come. That is until you hear that the methodology is now being adopted to sports training. Yes, you have read it right, Agile methods are now being adopted to organizing sports.
The first time we have heard about this new exciting development was from a Serbian physical coach Mladen Jovanović. He has been involved in various sports activities his whole life and has recently heard about Agile practices and Eylean Board.
Being an innovator he naturally got interested in how this may be adopted to his field and how it can benefit the parties involved. By creating several boards and dividing the process into clear steps, he managed to translate the Agile practices into sports seamlessly. To know more about his process and findings, watch this short video.
After looking into Lithuanian startups and their views on Agile we wanted to compare them with startups from other countries. This time we took on Germany and surveyed startups from various fields asking them what they knew about project management and agile.
While the two surveys yielded similar results in that Agile practices are well known and practiced, there were some key differences as well. Within Lithuanian startups Scrum and Kanban were used by an overall majority of Agile practitioners, while in German startups, they only racked up half of the votes, leaving more space for Scrumban and other methods.
Lithuanian and German startups also found disagreement in the positives and negatives of Agile. One party said that the practice increases team motivation, while other stated the opposite. Time planning, process control and result evaluation were also mentioned – see the full infographic to see how they compared.
For teams that have successfully adopted Agile, the next logical question is – what will follow? While in some cases there is no next step and the adopted practice suits perfectly, for others further modification brings in better results and more value. So what should you do if you want to innovate further?
Take a look at these 5 options.
One of the most popular Agile modifications at the moment is scaling up. It is only natural that companies want to extend successful methods from small teams onto the whole organization. However, since the method in itself is built for a small singular team, some adoption and changes are inevitable. For that scaled practices such as DAD, SAFe and LeSS have been developed. So if you want to convince your CEO, see how these approaches can fit your case.
While switching to Agile practices is nothing uncommon these days, we are still often reluctant to accept it when it comes into our lives. This has little to do with the methodology itself and simply rests on the fact that most of us do not like change, any change. The question here is – should you focus on the fact of facing change or should you instead focus on what great rewards you will get after? We pick the latter and here are our top 3 things to look forward to after an Agile switch.
- Meaningful documents and meetings
Having to deal with excessive documentation and unproductive meetings is so common in today’s business world that it has become something we actually expect. However, despite this acceptance, it does not bring any substantial value to the team nor to the product and often creates demotivation instead of what we all seek – productivity.
As a project management software company, we are often asked, which of the PM methods are the most popular and most commonly used today. To find the answer to this question, there is no better way but to ask or look into the market itself. So today we take a look into boards, reports and task actions that Eylean users choose the most.
Looking at the top boards, we find a variety of them at the disposal of Eyleaners. There are Kanban, Scrum and Scrumban boards being used by some, TFS template boards, used by others, but the overall winner, however, is the Basic board. This might seem strange with the overwhelming popularity of Agile methods today, however, there is quite a few reasons behind this choice, such as a complicated process, transition between methods, adoption of a new method and so on. Choosing a basic board option, allows the team to start using the tool quickly and to develop the exact process on the go, by modifying the board to suit their needs.
Over the years we have witnessed a definite progression in Agile practices. The method that was first aimed to help small teams, was later scaled to change processes in companies and is now starting to affect the overall understanding of business management practices. The natural next question is – when will Agile spread beyond business and into other parts of our life? Will it reach the government and will it eventually become imbedded in our culture?
There is a long standing tradition of taking the best practices from the private sector and adapting them to the government. This usually takes time, while the practice effectiveness is proven and the right way to adopt it into the goals of a government office is found. However the implementation almost always leads to more efficiency, reduced spending or other significant changes and improvements of how the officials operate. With Agile gaining great traction all over the private sector more and more wonder – can it be the time for the government to consider it as well?