Making Your Organization Agile in 2018: A Primer

If you do any project management in 2018 - be it software development, construction, political campaigns, budgetary control or any industry in between, you know that Agile is the latest buzzword to make waves in business. Seen by many as the crucial framework for creating effective solutions in the turbulent digital age, Agile is being deployed by big players worldwide, including BMW, Mozilla, and even the 2016 Trump presidential campaign.

What is Agile, and how can it help you?

According to the Agile Alliance, it is a way for organizations to create and respond to change in a turbulent, uncertain environment. Agile helps you evolve quickly and efficiently, allowing companies to navigate treacherous waters successfully. Definitions can get quite a bit more technical than that, especially in the context of software development, where turbulent uncertainty is the name of the game. But the core 12 principles of Agile, derived from the Agile Manifesto, apply to an extensive range of enterprises. And they’re just the beginning.

The Many Ways To Be Agile

Since its inception, Agile has become a tree that’s sprouted many branches. Since it’s not just a methodology, but a general approach, Agile is prone to modification and customization for specific project and organizational needs or structures. Agile comes in many flavors - that is, many methodologies offering an Agile framework have been developed in recent years.

The most popular methodologies are standard Agile, Scrum and Kanban. If you have trouble picking the right one, you’re certainly not the only one. Here’s what you should know:

  • Agile is an approach, not a methodology.
  • Scrum and Kanban are methodologies, and both are considered to be Agile approaches.
  • In Scrum, processes are broken down into “sprints” (often two weeks long) with well-defined roles, tasks and scopes. It encourages transparency, adaptability and interdepartmental interaction.
  • Kanban is a less-structured backlog of tasks, with no set time periods and a priority system instead. Tasks can be pending, in process or done, as visible to managers. It’s geared towards incremental change and day-to-day creation.

These are not the only ways to be Agile, though. Some intriguing methodologies aside from the frontrunners have largely gone by unnoticed, but they may be well worth your time. Take a gander at some lesser-known Agile methodologies up next.

  • Mob programming consists of developers sharing a main computer and coding simultaneously, an extension of pair programming. It maximizes speed and promotes a daily inspection and adaptation cycle through gradual evolution.
  • Descaling involves breaking down a complex organization into smaller scale teams, processes and operations.
  • LeSS, Large Scale Scrum descales the Scrum methodology in order to find the solutions you’ve deployed into your organizational structure that are holding you back from addressing root causes.
  • Crystal is a methodology crafted by IBM’s Alistair Cockburn, which had a profound impact in the Agile Manifesto and is held in high regard by modern Agile experts.
  • Bell-Curve Based Agile Delivery is a methodology proposed by Fujitsu’s Santosh Balan, which prioritizes less complex tasks with larger business value, delivering quick wins even while the team is yet to refine the processes required to achieve complex tasks.

Getting started in Agile project management

Regardless of your industry or sector, if you want to stay on top of your field, Agile is the way to go. Picking a strategy is half the battle: you’ll need the tech to match. Atlassian’s JIRA provides a flexible tool for all your Agile project management, issue tracking and bug tracking needs. If you’re already using Microsoft Project to manage your operation, Ceptah provides a natural and reliable route to JIRA Microsoft Project integration.

Armed with all you need to know, there’s no reason not to get started. Choosing an Agile methodology will transform the impact your business is capable of having on an ever-changing market. The simplicity of fusing your JIRA Microsoft Project data for a flawless workflow with Ceptah Bridge lets you bring real change to your organization at breakneck speeds. Stay ahead of the curve!