In recent years, there has been an increase in the number of organizations and businesses that are abandoning the waterfall approach to project management in favor of an Agile approach. Especially in the field of software development. Although the waterfall methodology and approach are a very tried and tested form, there are many teams that are looking to benefit from the speed and quality that taking an Agile approach offers.
Some of the biggest problems, however, that companies have run into when transitioning or even considering agile is the big difference in the mindsets that are central to agile and waterfall. The key, however, is to understand the characteristics of each, to help teams plan the whole shift from one to the other better.
With that in mind, we have outlined below, some of the ways you can smoothly transition from a waterfall way of doing things to Agile. If you are interested in utilizing Agile, see all the courses run at Scrum WithStyle, one of the most reputable Agile training providers in Asia/Oceania.
Train Your Staff
If you just choose to push new practices and ideas onto your team, it is bound to lead to disaster. The problem is that most professionals, regardless of field, are set in doing things a certain way, and changing the way they have always done things without help or guidance will only come to failure.
One of the best ways to train your staff and prepare them is by either assigning or taking on someone who has expert knowledge of agile methodology and the principles that direct them.
Automation and Agile go very much together, particularly as stakeholders start to tighten up project schedules while ensuring expectations are high for deliverables.
A contributor at Scrum Alliance, Chandrashekhar Madabhavi noted that an important way to do things in this regard would be to invest in automation tools and processes as these will speed up the time to get products to market. Automated solutions also ensure all projects get the full attention they deserve and will be evaluated comprehensively before they are deployed.
Place An Emphasis On Changes In Thinking
When you hang on dearly to legacy approaches it can be a real problem for agile transitions. Although organizations can utilize more traditional examples that will help make their staff understand new practices, it is important that the old ways of doing things should be abandoned and replaced with fully agile operations.
There are some procedures that can be worked on to match with agile values, but others may need to be stopped completely.
While this big change will be quite a challenge for many teams, when you stay focused on the real benefits of using agile, it can be much easier to be fully committed and make sure the transition runs smoothly.
When you are moving into an agile way of doing things, it is crucial with regards to testing and development activities that communication is a huge part of everything you do. When you place all members of your team into the same location for reporting progress, leaders are better able to understand where there may be pain points starting to emerge and this creates an environment where the best solutions can be created for these issues.
With this kind of environment, it is crucial that you are ready to act on any changes as and when they occur.
When there is not enough communication, it can adversely affect these initiatives and may lead to you creating and developing a finished product that does not meet the requirements of the stakeholder.
As well as better and stronger communication, it is important that teams familiarise themselves with working collaboratively, especially with entities within a business that they would normally be siloed from. One way to improve collaboration on projects is by including testers in the development stages so that they have a better understanding of the methodology behind Agile and can figure out the best types and levels of testing used.
Organizations can even consider engaging their customers in the testing process to make sure that the functionality and requirements are at the appropriate standards. Although this will all take some considerable time, when you engage in these kinds of practices sooner rather than later it will make it easier to transition into Agile.
Keep Things Flexible
In Agile product development, flexibility is massively important. When procedures are over-emphasized, it can stifle the creative process and channels of a business. The best way to achieve this is by formalizing a platform for development that allows for innovation without hindering performance.
The most profitable results will be achieved when your organization manages to balance innovation with the process to maneuver through the development while circumstances and conditions change.
It is not going to be easy to transition fully from waterfall practices and methodology to the agile way of doing things, but when you do, your company will benefit.
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