Agile looks cool right! Its modern to be ‘Agile’ and shows people we aren’t stuck in the past. But what does it really mean? What does it look like in action? Because we all know its one thing to say we are an Agile company but do we reflect that in our processes and actions, bringing product value to the centre of what we do.
Being an agile organisation cuts right through to the fabric of every company. It is more than just ceremonies or process, it is a way of thinking and acting which sets a company up for success. I have worked with many clients who believed that by using Agile terminology and a pretty scrum style board on the wall that they looked the part and therefore were an agile company – but that’s not quite everything you need to do….
Lets look at how to deliver value-driven products….
Identifying the value
Ask the question – ‘what problem are we trying to solve’
A strong product owner asks this question of their stakeholders all the time to ensure that the product being defined will deliver a powerful solution. The most important steps toward being agile and forming a production solution are:
1. Define your product roadmap and regularly evolve it against a clear objective
With a clear vision you can deliver iterative value for your stakeholders on a journey to solving the ultimate problem statement
2. Ensure continual communication
The cornerstone of an Agile culture is collaboration and communication. We design, we define, we develop, and we deliver – regular feedback and stakeholder engagement is imperative!
3. Keep aligned to the problem your trying to solve
Its so easy to get lost down a rabbit hole or with an ever-unfolding feature that we need to keep in mind the problem we are trying to solve.
Bringing the value to life
1. Set your sprint goals
Start by setting goals for the project or feature which addresses the question ‘what are we trying to solve’ or ‘what outcome is going to move the needle the most’ then take your next step in the planning process
2. Set your sprint goals
The act of refinement in agile is key to every other action running smoothly and on time. Unlike in projects-of-old a feature using the Agile methodology can be refined many times to meet the needs of stakeholders, delivering value through each iteration of development. Refining works to move a feature or story to a state of ‘Ready’.
3. Estimate the work
Once you have the feature clearly refined the next important step is to estimate how long each piece of the feature will take to complete. These pieces of work can be called many things such a User Stories, PBI’s, Tasks etc – what ever your preference each needs an estimate.
4. Plan your iterations and sprints – till everything fits
Based on the number of team members and sprint length you can plan out what work is done by whom and when so that you can deliver incremental value in every iteration.
Taking the above steps you can be assured your on the right track to delivering value-driven products into your business
Sometimes its not all about doing it on your own though, sometimes its about engaging experts to help you on your journey so get in touch if you want to start your agile product development journey today.
Chief Delivery Officer, Elyn Patrick