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Understand how the Agile Manifesto can improve your meeting process to get work done.
Competition in business has scaled a notch higher, thanks to diversified marketing techniques that enable companies to reach a wider audience. As such, companies are continually looking for ways to increase their competitive advantage through effective meetings techniques. Agile methodology is one of the best ways for businesses to share useful information and best practices in meetings to achieve customer satisfaction.
We will discuss agile methodology, the agile manifesto, and how to use both for productive meetings.
Understanding agile methodology and philosophy
Agile methodology definition – agile is a process where a team seeks to manage a project by breaking it up into several stages. During these stages, there is a collaboration with stakeholders, continuous improvement of the product, and iteration. The agile methodology starts with clients explaining what the end product will be and the problem it will solve. Team cycles will then involve planning, execution, and evaluation, with collaboration and decisions meant to fit customers’ needs.
A quick look at the agile manifesto history reveals that there was a significant time lag between business requirements and delivery of technology to meet these needs. Since customer demands and business would change over this period, the final product did not meet current needs. This led to the cancellation of most projects. Industry frustrations gave rise to the agile manifesto and the twelve principles of agile software, as players sought to develop software that responded to change.
Generally, the agile philosophy involves managing software projects as well as the teams taking part in the process. “What is most important according to the agile manifesto?” most people ask. According to the manifesto, the most important values are individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan.
The agile scrum methodology is one of the most popular ways of implementing agile. However, there are a number of tools that people can use to improve efficiency. Meetings also help to support the process by facilitating the exchange of information, review of sprint meetings, and encouraging feedback. This means that organizations that adopt agile are usually in a great position to move to the next level.
Agile principles and your meetings
The twelve agile principles describe the environment in which change is welcome and place the customer as the main focus of work. These agile manifesto principles align development to business needs.
- Customer satisfaction through early and continuous software delivery. This is probably at the center of agile project management principles, delivering working software at regular intervals.
- Welcome changing requirements throughout the development process to avoid delays.
- Frequent delivery of working software
- Business owners and developers must work together throughout the project to ensure better decisions.
- Support, trust, and motivate the people involved. Agile manifesto 2011 states that motivated teams are more likely to deliver better results.
- Enable face-to-face interactions for successful communication.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress
- Agile processes support sustainable development
- Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design to ensure the product is improved and change is sustained.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams
- Regular reflections on how to become more effective. Advancing skills, self-improvement, and process improvement helps team members to work more efficiently.
Once people understand the agile manifesto values and principles, the next step is knowing how these values can help improve efficiency. Meetings provide a platform for describing the product and the problem it is meant to solve. Certain scrum principles also allow for constant discussions and reviews as the process moves towards the set goals.
Agile values and your meetings
To achieve set goals using agile, it is necessary for those involved to learn the four values of the agile manifesto by heart.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
The manifesto values people more because it is people who drive the development process and respond to business needs. Meetings contribute to this by allowing for communication among team members when the need arises. This is why it is vital for team members to communicate effectively, share ideas, and explain the challenges they face.
Working software over comprehensive documentation
In the past, a lot of time was spent documenting technical specifications, technical requirements, plans, and approvals. Such extensive documentation occasioned long delays in development. While agile does not eliminate documentation, it streamlines it to ensure a fast process. The agile manifesto values documentation but considers working software to be more important.
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Historically, the customer and product manager would discuss the details of delivery, with room for renegotiation. This means that the customer was only involved before and after the process. Today, the customer plays an active role during the process, making it easier for the development to meet customer needs.
Responding to change over following a plan
In the past, software development avoided change, as it was considered expensive. Agile recognizes the importance of change in improving products and adding value. During routine meetings, team members will share ideas on how to improve the product to achieve customer satisfaction. Rather than following a plan, agile encourages responding to change.
These agile manifesto values play an essential role in determining the success of the process. Before, during, and after scrum meetings, the focus should mainly be on these values.
Implementing the agile framework into your organization and meeting process
To realize the true potential of the agile framework as well as return on investment, organizations have to implement and adopt the methodology as required. Here is a safe implementation roadmap to help such organizations.
Start by learning what agile is and how it works
Since agile is a completely different approach, managers and business executives have to take time to grasp the concept before executing. This is the first step towards ensuring that the organization realizes the real benefits of the framework.
Choose the right methodologies
When it comes to project management, agile offers numerous benefits. Agile is interactive, reduces risks, allows for immediate feedback, and ensures fast turnaround. To ensure its successful implementation, it is important to choose the right agile framework. While scrum is the most used method, Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) and Large Scale Scrum (LeSS) can also deliver the desired results. The decision managers make will be critical in successfully implementing quality in a lean agile environment.
Start small and scale
The best way to implement agile is to start small and scale as time goes. Whether you opt for SAFe agile or any other framework, start by incorporating agile in certain departments before extending it to other parts of the organization.
Leverage agile at the corporate level
Senior executives can also benefit from agile. An agile approach will not only help them understand customers better but also reveal the business’ most critical issues.
Even with a clear SAFe implementation roadmap, leadership still plays a critical role in the implementation of agile. Competent leadership not only emphasizes on best practices but also strikes a balance between authority and accountability.
Focus on organizational change
Change is at the center of the agile manifesto SAFe. Rather than an overnight company shift, implementation of agile should be delivered via individual departments. This should be gradual, taking place over some time.
Developing development in agile
One of the most noticeable values of agile is the willingness to adjust to changes in requirements. Here are some of the culture change elements that can ensure a successful agile development cycle.
Have a compelling reason to change
Before the agile development cycle can begin, there should be a compelling reason to change. This should be communicated to everyone within the organization so they can understand their role in the process.
Motivate the team
Once everyone has understood the reason for change, the development team has to be motivated to commit to the change. Clear and consistent communication, as well as periodic reviews will help to make meetings more effective and impactful.
Reorganizing the team structure
Reorganizing the team structure in line with the agile development model will not only help to facilitate communication but also make it easier to achieve the set goals.
Allow for a learning curve
It will take time for the team to adapt perfectly to new behaviors. While there may be challenges, in the beginning, the results will become more visible as people learn and adjust to the development.
Changing the way people work
Training programs, different compensation arrangements, and changes in the job description will characterize the process. The short iterations in agile manifesto also allow for regular measurement of progress and achievement.
There are many more factors that contribute to a successful, SAFe, agile transformation. In the end, however, agile is a journey rather than a destination. Organizations will have to adapt to changes in the business environment to increase both quality and speed to market.
Resources to help make your process and meetings more agile
There are a number of tools and resources that can help you learn more about implement agile software. Here are some of the resources you can use to help improve your meetings and process.
There are numerous books available through which managers and executives can learn how to implement agile. Examples include Essential Scrum, The Lean Startup, and User stories applied: For Agile Software development. Also, it is important to look out for the latest agile manifesto update to keep up with trends.
People who prefer to learn through video tutorials and agile manifesto images can look for Agile Project Management: Scrum Step by Step with Examples, Become an agile project manager or Agile courses.
Agile manifesto authors agree that tools can also help people learn about implementing the software. Some of the most effective tools are Jira, Trello, Asana, Slack, and Docket.
In the end, the importance of having a good meeting tool such as Docket cannot be understated. This tool makes it possible and easy for you to keep track of meeting notes, important decisions, and record the milestones achieved during the process. In addition to the agile manifesto PDF, these tools will keep the team on course to achieving the desired goals.