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Demystifying Agile

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Part One

This content is part of the Ultimate Guide to Agile series and the content describes the basics of agile, for anyone who wants to understand what people mean when they talk an agile methodologies and agile approaches.

Becoming more Agile continues to be a challenge for organisations. There are perceived benefits of agile approaches, including being able to get things done more quickly, being more efficient by concentrating on work that delivers the best return and managing uncertainty by planning in the short term as longer term is less certain.

There is continuing confusion about what agile is and what it will mean for the organisation. To cut through the noise and to enable leaders to make informed decisions, I have created this paper that explains agile using simple language and straightforward examples. This paper will help you understand the terminology, the basic concepts that underpin an Agile approach, and the benefits of increasing your agility.

Agile-demystified

To support my paper explaining what an agile approach really involves, and how it can be applied to any type of business initiative. The webinar starts with the basics, explaining the different agile brands, the principles of agile working and how this translates into agile processes and a life-cycle model. I differentiate between creating project deliverables and their implementation and show how change management is a critical element of effective agile working.

Part Two

This paper follows on from the description of the core concepts of agile, agile techniques, agile terminology and the practical difficulties of adopting an Agile approach. I explain the impact of agile on other parts of your organisation, and how your ways of working will need to change to get the full value from an Agile approach.

Managing initiatives using an Agile approach requires different values and behaviours than when we use a more linear approach. That feels like a bold statement, when all we are changing is how we organise our activities and deliver completed work, but it is true.

This is because Agile is only a change to the processes we follow on the surface. Beneath the surface it requires a paradigm shift in the trust and respect we show to others and our willingness to work collaboratively, valuing the input of others even when it conflicts with how we would get the job done.

In this paper, I have given examples for how our ways of working need to change to get the full value from an Agile approach, with specific reference to three areas:

  • Impact on the team
  • Impact on your customers
  • Impact on senior management

Agile-demystified-the-sequel

In the first webinar on the basics of Agile I explained the core concepts of Agile, the techniques, the terminology and the practical difficulties of adopting an Agile approach.

In this second webinar, I explain in more detail how your ways of working will need to change to get the full value from an Agile approach including:

How does working in an Agile environment impact how you work as a team? Changes in information sharing, understanding what empowerment really means, using criteria for taking decisions, and the ability to break work into increments that can be delivered early and frequently to the business.

How does an Agile approach change how you work with your customers and those in the business? How do you make sure they have the time to get involved in shaping the project deliverables, and how do you explain the Agile techniques that most impact them including daily scrums, sign-offs, retrospectives and providing effective feedback?

How does an Agile approach change how you work with senior management? Explaining how Agile works and getting agreement to working without providing written progress reports, explaining incremental planning and involving senior leaders in frequent sign-off reviews.