‘Agile’ is a set of methodologies — Strategy

‘Agile’ is a set of methodologies for the development of projects that require speed and flexibility to adapt to changing conditions in the sector or market, taking advantage of these changes to provide a competitive advantage. That is, the project is “cut” into small parts that have to be completed and delivered in a few weeks.

The already classic stories about small ideas that are born in garages and soon become giant technological companies, have made companies of all sizes think of the best way to innovate and develop new ways of working. A ‘ startup ‘ is a young company that develops in an ecosystem of uncertainty, so you need to be able to make changes in your projects quickly.

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It could be said that ‘Agile’ is a set of methodologies for the development of projects that require speed and flexibility to adapt to changing conditions in the sector or market, taking advantage of these changes to provide competitive advantage.

What is the ‘Agile ‘ methodology?

The principles and values ​​on which the agile methodologies are based have as main characteristic to make fast and continuous deliveries. That is, the project is “cut” into small parts that have to be completed and delivered in a few weeks. In this way, if any changes have to be made, only changes are made to the party involved and in a very short time.

Before ‘Agile’, when a company wanted to develop new software, it was possible to try a 2-year linear project that when it finally saw the light did not include the latest technical innovations or specifications that at that time could have become fundamental for the end user. And what to do then? Well either put “patches” or start over again.

Another of the most characteristic features of the ‘Agile’ methodology is the use of multidisciplinary teams, working together, side by side, throughout the process. Thus, for example, the person in charge of marketing can give feedback on how the final product is turning out to the technician who is developing code. In this way, and together with the faster deliveries, the resulting product is exactly what the market is demanding.

One of the clearest examples of the effectiveness of using Agile strategy way of working is : Each ‘ Team ‘ performs daily sessions ( Morning Standing Meetings ) in which each member explains three things: what work has done, which is pending and point out the obstacles (if any) that have not allowed him to advance. These meetings serve to let everyone on the team know where each one is and to know what can be collaborated so that the rest can keep moving forward.

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Deployment of objectives and agile strategy

Once the objectives have been established, it is time to develop plans to achieve them through actions and projects, deploying the objectives through the processes. A process is a set of related activities that achieve a value-result using available resources. The process definition is very relevant since the desired results are reached efficiently when the activities and resources of the same are managed as a single process, allowing:

  • Cost reduction.
  • Predictable and consistent results.
  • Prioritization of improvement opportunities.

Given that the ultimate goal is for the strategy to have a real impact on the operations of the company, the processes must have their own expected results, their objectives, their specific contribution to the strategic objectives, the associated indicators and everything necessary to carry to good port the process (responsible, concrete actions, deadlines …).

Management as a project is fundamental for each objective to have its action plan as the only way to achieve it. Therefore it is also essential to evaluate the performance at the end of each project to review the results, why they have been achieved or why not if the response has been adequate and so on.

Success factors to achieve an agile strategy

The success of a strategy is marked by its suitability (depending on several factors), but the process of implementing it is fundamental. Any strategy, however good it may be, without a good implementation is doomed to failure. Therefore, there are three key issues to which we must pay special attention for an effective implementation:

Participation

As in almost everything, the motivation and implication of the key resources is essential. Reaching a consensus in the strategic definition will make the path much more plain.

Communication

So that everyone knows the vision, the strategy, and its logic. It is a priority to establish information needs based on objectives and activities. Based on these needs, the senders and receivers of said information are established to later select the most appropriate tool for its distribution and the characteristics of the information.

Incentives

So that personal objectives are aligned with those of the company (through remuneration, reinforcement of membership, contribution to the project or others).

Evaluation of results

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Although in a strict sense, the evaluation does not contribute to the success of the project; This evaluation is fundamental to control the compliance or not of objectives, as well as detect points of improvement and corrective actions. Measure, analyze and propose improvements can be the verification of a job well done or the first step to achieving it in the future.

When measuring the results, we must take into account the following issues:

  • Quality of the data
  • Ease of reading (graphics, tables …).
  • Distribution of information to those involved.
  • Achievement of goals.
  • Establishment of comparatives.

Strategic planning allows designing the scenario that the company intends to conquer, and even more, the actions that will facilitate said conquest. Completing the planning with a CMI allows to see the strategic map in detail with the necessary indicators for monitoring and control; The first step to ensuring the success of a company in the medium and long-term with an agile strategy.