Agile methodologies have been around for a while now. More and more companies are using it successfully. But at the same time, many companies are not having the success they expect despite their best efforts in using agile methodologies. They boast of using agile methodologies on a daily basis but are disappointed with the results.
One of the many reason companies don’t get the desired results while using agile methodologies is because they are still attached to traditional waterfall methods. In other words, they feel insecure to abandon the traditional way of managing projects. Many decades of traditional project management have made our mindset rigid and reluctant to accept alternative ways of working or managing a project.
Although there is nothing wrong in using some aspects of the waterfall methodology specially in the initial stages of a project or during the planning phase of the project. Also, more and more companies are adopting hybrid methodologies. Which is a good thing. But when one is used to a lot of command and control and one is reticent to change during the execution phase then it becomes a hindrance to adopting agile methodologies. So, in this blog post we will be exploring aspects that are holding companies from using agile methodologies to their full potential.
So, here are 5 things that companies should get rid of to maximize the use of agile methodologies and get results:
Upfront requirements documentation
Remember one of the tenants of the agile manifesto: working software is more important than comprehensive documentation. Despite that many companies produce copious documentation upfront before production or the launch of the project. Project managers or project stakeholders end up spending a lot of time and tons of energy on documentation that might not be necessary.
Mind you, agile teams do produce documents and artefacts, but keep them to a minimum. Agile teams concentrate on customer satisfaction by delivering valuable software continuously. Not documents.
So, ditch the tons of documents hindering the progress of your projects.
Unnecessary and long meetings
Get rid of long and unnecessary meetings filled with errors, misunderstandings and low morale. They distract you from doing the actual work. Many project managers in many organizations actually think that meetings lower their productivity levels.
So, adopt short stand-up meetings recommended by Scrum (Agile methodology). Stand-up meetings are designed in such a way that teams are able to have short, crisp and to the point discussions to solve problems and issues coming their way during project execution. And, each meeting is an opportunity to improve the project execution process and move forward towards project delivery.
Command and control management
In today’s ever changing and chaotic business environment flexibility and adaptation is the key to success. Traditional and top-down management which involves command and control are not only archaic but also counter-productive for successful project delivery. Agile methodologies stresses that self-organizing and autonomous team collaborate better to deliver successful projects. Co-creative teams and willing employees ensure the success of agile methodologies. Agile methodologies are successfully implemented and deliver results when team members are motivated by appreciation, trust and empowerment.
Remember: flat management is conducive for the implementation of agile methodologies. And command and control management seldom lead to optimal results in project management.
Micro-management of daily tasks
Stop micro-managing your team. Micro-management negates the use of agile methodologies. Agile methodologies are all about self-organizing team and team empowerment. Avoid micromanagement at all cost and trust your team members.
So, let your teams self-organize so that they collaborate with each other and support each other to deliver better results.
Fear of failure
Many project managers fear that their project might lose momentum or completely fail if they adopt agile methodologies to execute and deliver their project. Self-organizing teams and interactions over process and tools can be perceived chaotic and disorganized and therefore leading to project failure. Nothing can be further from the truth. Actually, agile methodologies embrace experimentation and failure to create the right product which satisfies the customer needs.
Remember: the more mistakes your team makes and learns from it, the closer it gets to the clients needs.
Many project managers and stakeholders consider their project to be on the right track if they have detailed documentations, regular control and lengthy meetings. Actually, they are confusing activity with productivity. And, they are not maximizing the use of agile methodologies to deliver projects successfully. It is important to note that a working software is the key measure of success, in whatever way it may have been accomplished.