Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Three Stumbling Blocks to Agile and How to Avoid Them

By Umme Sutarwala - April 29, 2022 4 Mins Read

Three Stumbling Blocks to Agile and How to Avoid Them

Focusing on agility can help the IT department become more cost-effective and more capable of making an impact throughout the organization. IT is increasingly being considered a catalyst of change rather than merely a back-office support function in today’s environment, and agile management will be critical to accomplishing this.

Many critical IT operations can reap the benefits of agile management. In software development, for example, it can assist teams in implementing changes more rapidly or changing course to avoid any obstacles that may arise. Meanwhile, modifying how businesses run their day-to-day operations to stay abreast with a rapidly changing environment helps ensure that they are prepared to deal with any unforeseen events that the coming years may bring.

If handled properly, Agile may provide excellent outcomes, but there are a few pitfalls to avoid. Here are three crucial points to remember.

Visibility issues

It’s difficult to get visibility into Agile projects across several sprints and teams. Agile teams organize and monitor themselves in a variety of ways across teams and even sprints. This allows things to move rapidly and respond to new requirements, but it makes development efforts less transparent to outside stakeholders. Due to self-organization and agility, corporate stakeholders and executives may be unaware of project status, resulting in unpleasant shocks.

The fact that Agile frequently employs qualitative measurements to assess and benchmark progress adds to the visibility challenge. Many Agile teams utilize story points, velocity, and backlog as key progress indicators.

Many companies boost visibility by establishing standardized reporting frameworks (dashboards) for development teams. These frameworks are pre-defined and implemented uniformly across development teams. They can be tiered to correspond to product size and complexity. These frameworks should be basic, with essential KPIs driven by management and business stakeholder visibility requirements. They can also be managed by people who are not part of the development team.

Also Read: How to Achieve Success in Agile-friendly Work Environment

Teams lack confidence in one another 

Communication challenges are one of the most common reasons for IT project failures, and in an agile setting, this will be worsened if project participants lack total trust in one another.

Any agile plan will entail a large number of employees working on a variety of tasks at the same time. It’s inevitable in such situations for misunderstanding to occur. However, how issues are managed when they do arise might be the difference between a successful and unsuccessful project. As a result, it’s critical to conduct periodic evaluations to determine whether anything was lost in the translation, what happened, and what needs to be done to avoid a repeat.

Leaders of these initiatives must ensure that everyone engaged is invested in the plan and striving toward the same objective. If individuals can’t see this in their coworkers, trust will soon erode, resulting in more communication breakdowns and separate teams tugging in different ways. To avoid this, leaders need to make sure that everyone understands what they have been asked to do and that they are aware of who to contact if they have any concerns.

Also Read: 3 Moves for CIOs to Achieve an Efficient IT Organization

Lack of transparency in communication

Transparency is essential for efficient teamwork, which is at the heart of agile development. If it’s not there, problems won’t be brought up when they should be (as soon as someone notices them).

Individual motivations must be aligned with those of the larger business, and the team must be reinforced as the delivery unit; individuals who do not share knowledge earn nothing.

Again, the most effective method is to demonstrate by example. Newcomers to agile are mentored as they work, learning alongside more experienced teammates, since the delivery team is seeded with experienced agile practitioners.

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Umme Sutarwala

Umme Sutarwala is a Global News Correspondent with OnDot Media. She is a media graduate with 2+ years of experience in content creation and management. Previously, she has worked with MNCs in the E-commerce and Finance domain

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