Taking on Agile can be a tough challenge, especially if you have no previous experience with it and have no one to coach you. The good news, however, are that all it takes is time and determination to take over and understand. To make that process more smooth for both you and your team, we came up 17 tips and tricks. Use them to reach your goals sooner and more easily.
The next big question after deciding to go Agile is deciding which of the methods is right for you- will you go with Scrum, SoS or SAFe? While this decision is not an easy one and will take careful considerations, there are some aspects to each of the method that can help you along the way. Below you will find our easy 3 step process that will guarantee you consider the right options from the start.
For more helpful Agile cheats and tips see The Ultimate Agile Guide.
Agile is not a new concept in the business world by any means – it is being adopted to more and more various fields, innovated and even discarded by some teams that feel they have had enough and are ready to move on. However, as the Agile reign continues, we find some of the practitioners are still trying to figure out how exactly to be Agile. For this, we are launching a series of blog posts explaining and answering some of the questions most new Agile users have.
To practice any methodology, first you have to know what it actually is and we find that there is still a lot of confusion out there about what exactly can be called Agile. So is Agile equivalent to Scrum as many out there believe? Or is Agile an ancestor of Extreme Programming? Let us try and explain everything.
Agile is a term that describes an effective way of working. It was introduced to the mass public by the release of the Agile Manifesto in 2001 and while it does specifically outline 4 values and 11 principles to be followed by the Agile teams, it does not include any particular methodology or recommendations of a methodology to be followed. So in itself, Agile is simply a framework to be followed.
Naturally, after the creation of the Manifesto, the practitioners felt a need of a clear method to be followed and thus the search has begun. Some looked into existing project management tools and though how they could be made to fit the Agile framework, others created whole new concepts and methods completely from scratch. Thus today we have a wide variety of Agile methods to choose from and new ones coming up every single day. Check out our Agile method genealogy tree.
So to answer the questions we have posed in the beginning, Agile is not Scrum, not XP and not any other method in particular, but all of the methods that comply with the Agile Manifesto are Agile. And as long as you are practicing one of them, your team is Agile too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Finding out about and covering various Kanban approaches is always very interesting – we want to stay on top of innovation that you are creating in the market. So when a creator of the Arrow Kanban board, Tomas Rybing, reached out to us with his new invention, we were both eager and excited to check it out. This time, he presented the Volcano – another interesting take on the traditional Kanban board.
According to Tomas, the Volcano was born out of the bugging need to combine multiple teams and multiple projects into one space. Unfortunately, the traditional Kanban board layout was not ideal for such a situation as everything ended up being mixed up and hard to separate. To achieve a clearer and more comfortable Kanban setting, he decided to separate the board into specific sections – one dedicated for the multiple product backlog and one section for each team involved in the project. This separation allowed to plan and prioritize the work globally, while at the same keeping the process of each team away from each other.
When seeking to get more insight into our customers, we often take a deeper look into how they are using Eylean Board. Some of the most interesting statistics usually come from the TFS users and this time is no exception. Before you are the insights of how our TFS customers are using Eylean, specifically, which templates they are choosing and why.
To get an overall idea of what is happening with Eylean TFS templates, first we took a look into the overall data of the customers. In the table below, the results reveal that between the templates there is no big standouts – all of them are running in similar numbers. A bit higher overall usage is found in two categories – Scrum and Agile. For Scrum, this complies with the overall trend of Scrum user numbers being higher than the rest of Agile methodologies. While the biggest choice of Agile template stands behind teams that are implementing one or several practices at a time and want an agile template that has the basics, but is not too specific in any methodology.