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?
With Agile gaining bigger and bigger traction each day, there is no wonder why many companies are starting to adopt it and claim to be Agile. The change, however, is not overnight – it takes time and effort to implement. Due to this, many corporations choose to adopt Agile incrementally with a method that is now being called Water-scrum-fall. However, can it actually be better to use the transition method?
To answer this question, let us first explore what hides behind the term Water-scrum-fall. This definition appeared in Agile circles not too long ago striving to describe a process in which large companies choose to practice both Waterfall and Scrum methodologies at the same time. This is usually done to introduce a more efficient Agile process into some phases of the project, while leaving other phases untouched and managed in the traditional way.
Such a solution has become a great option for large companies in which some teams are pushing for change and a more flexible way to complete projects, while others are holding on to the established processes and refuse the necessity of change altogether. With Water-scrum-fall, the teams get to decide which of the two management methods is the most suitable for each situation and use it to gain the best results.
As recently discussed in the 2015 review, more and more Agile teams are starting to sway away from Scrum and lean towards a different methodology – Kanban. While this may be surprising at first, there actually is good reasoning behind this switch and possibility of this trend continuing into the 2016. Will you be switching as well? Let’s see.
The need for order
For most companies, Scrum has come at a time, when there was a need for a more flexible and at the same time a clearer approach to project management. This was especially true in the case of software development teams that lacked processes and often produced results, just not the ones management was looking for.
As the holiday season ends, we find ourselves looking onto the New Year and making promises to be better, to achieve new goals and to get rid of old habits. The sad truth however is that as the days of the new year start rolling by, we tend to minimize, put off or even forget our resolutions altogether. For most of us the New Year resolutions never come true. But is it really impossible to make sure you stick to them? We say no – all it takes is a little effort and determination on your side.
The main problem we encounter when trying to fulfill our goals is the lack of understanding of our own capabilities. When these resolutions are made, we often forget to think about how it will be us that will have to make them come true and instead we just envision the best possible version of ourselves for the following year. To make sure this imagination is dosed with some reality, there are three little tips you can follow.
Another year nears its end and before the holidays take over our mind completely, we thought it would be interesting to take some time and look back. Every year we analyze data from Eylean to see how our clients have used it and how can we improve in the next year. Most of this data is quite technical, but just like last year, we want to share some of the more interesting findings with you.
Country of origin. Over the years, we have been enjoying a steady growth of interest into project management software. Last year we were happy with an 81% growth of Eylean users and this year we are even more excited with a doubled 156% growth. Most of the new users came from our biggest market – the United States (31%), however, this year we also have new markets in our portfolio, such as China, France and others, proving that agile project management practices are becoming more popular all over the world. While there is some movement in the new markets, the top 5 have retained their strong positions with only some slight changes in the numbers.
The benefits of data visualization are well known and understood in this busy, no time to stop and read world. Therefore it comes as no surprise that we are constantly looking for measures to improve our process and create ever more effective ways of making project information understandable at a first glance. Agile project management practices have been a go to tool for most teams in this effort, however, we believe, they can be pushed yet another step further with a simple addition of color.
Agile project methods are a great way to improve your project visualization – they provide the basic rules of the board setup, task organization and separation as well as a general sense of what is going on. However, as projects, teams and Agile practices themselves grow ever larger, the constraints provided in the methods become too simple to sufficiently visualize the process. As a result, most teams start looking for another layer of data representation such as color.
Color coding is a well-known practice used in the daily lives by most of us. And while it may seem silly at first, it actually provides a great additional layer of visualization for the Agile task board. Below are our top 5 ways to use color in the board enhancement.
Identifying the item size
After looking into how Lithuanian startups use Agile practices, we were intrigued and decided to dig a little deeper. So we went out again and asked startups what project management practices they know, use and why. The results are presented below in our brand new infographic.
Enjoy and share your experiences with us!
It often said, that the best things come out of the most unexpected solutions and unexpected is the word that comes up often after hearing about the PRINCE2 Agile method. For most of us it is hard to believe that the two fundamentally different approaches have been merged into one successfully and that this solution has already been applied in some teams. While it is yet to be determined how successful this new method will be in the long term, there is undoubtedly some good reasoning behind it. Let us go ahead and see what it is.
Up until this point, most of the PM community thought that the two methods – PRINCE2 and Agile are fundamentally different. Some even went as far as fighting the other side over the superiority of their choice. However, the new approach led by Keith Richards, brings us to thinking about where the differences actually lie. We know PRINCE2 as a more traditional method, focused on control and governance and we know Agile as a new age method, focused on flexibility and adaption to environment. However, we often tend to get off the right track and bring up our own misconceptions about the two based simply on our opinions.