Agile Software Delivery is really quite simple to conceptualise: the aim is to deliver to production as frequently as possible so that the business and its customers can benefit from new features and products regularly. However, transitioning from a standard waterfall approach and putting Agile into practice is much harder to do.
We have worked with a myriad of companies that have taken the journey, and have all experienced the same problems. Most of these problems stem from: under preparation, misconceptions and scepticism.
Over the years we have experienced effective and less effective ways of implementing Agile, and so, have identified the following four pillars that should be in place before taking on the task.
All stakeholders must be bought-in to enable the transition to Agile: Scepticism can stall progression and inadvertently push teams back to old ways of working.
Agile isn’t really a methodology: it’s a set of principles.
The technical infrastructure should support regular releases to production and not bottleneck features to a pre-production environment.
Self managing teams are also instrumental to enable regular delivery.
Everyone should be adequately up-skilled with the Agile principles and manifesto, and must fully understand the reasons WHY the business is going Agile. It’s also important to adopt and develop useful techniques from the Agile toolkit which will empower teams to work towards building a consistent velocity.
Agile is a mind-set and way of working, it isn’t just a toolkit.
Agile teams must prepare to fail early and identify areas of improvement to ensure benefits are delivered.
Collaboration is key: the sooner you solve the problem, the sooner you can course correct and deliver.
Agile is not a methodology it’s a mindset. Using the Agile manifesto and principles is a good way to ensure conformity. Don’t be bogged down by the textbooks, as they don’t account for every possible scenario out there, make Agile work for you: If something doesn’t work, then change it. And don’t be fooled by the mother of all misconceptions that going Agile will solve all your problems.