Agile Adoption for Improved Workflow Efficiency
Managing the workforce since the adoption of the new normal has become quite challenging.
Diverse teams and organizations worldwide have started to adopt agile methodology into their workflow and for a good reason.
Agile helps them react quickly to changes, meet deadlines rapidly, and improve customer satisfaction.
More recently, the Learning and Development industry has started embracing agility in its eLearning development process after observing the impact of the Agile methodology in the software industry.
Below are some of the observed effects of the change:
- Faster delivery of products: continuous collaboration between developers and clients
- Higher business value: products developed through agile have better product-market fit
- Improved resource allocation: minimized loss because of qualitative analysis
- Better customer satisfaction: the customer is a part of the development process
By observing the trend, adopting agile has become the number 1 priority of many management departments of several organizations.
However, there is a lot of difference between "being agile" and "doing agile."
Unfortunately, many workforces have become pseudo-agile. The reason is copying the practices of another organization, possibly their competitors', and applying them to their organization.
In this brief article, let's dive a bit deeper into how workflow efficiency could be improved by suitably adopting agile.
Being Agile The Right Way
To get the outcomes that the agile methodology promises, it is crucial to understand each of the agile principles in depth. Adoption of agility becomes easier only when its core ideas are understood in the context of your own industry.
1. Individuals And Interactions Over Processes And Tools
Your organization has a plethora of legacy processes and predefined workflows. Rather than focusing on making the procedures predictable, prioritize the needs of the teams that deal with these procedures.
Processes and tools are essential to get work done; however, they need not be rigid.
If some employees feel that they should choose a different software and with good reason, let them.
Valuing individuals and interactions more will result in higher employee motivation. As a result, they would produce higher performance.
Moreover, it instills accountability and ownership in the employees in a positive way.
2. Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation
Comprehensive documentation helps both the parties, the developers, and clients be well informed about the product.
However, if the documentation is way too long and complicated, no one ends up reading it at all.
Most organizations get too concerned about creating documentation rather than creating a product that fits their clients' needs clearly in many cases.
It will help the employees manage their resources better and focus on customer satisfaction resulting in improved employee efficiency.
3. Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation
Rather than viewing your end-user, client, or customer as a separate entity with whom you conduct business, consider collaborating with them.
It will help the developers understand their needs better and get better reviews and feedback while testing the prototype.
Since the developers and creators will have a better idea of what to create, they will build their product faster.
Moreover, it will fill the void that their customer has and increase the team's business value.
4. Responding To Change Over Following A Plan
A plan of action is vital for the completion of a task, let alone an entire project.
However, a rigid plan which is irresponsive to external feedback and reviews is not fruitful at all.
After a week, suppose the development team realizes that the product is not a suitable fit. In that case, they should consider pivoting rather than continuing the same path.
Higher rate of success for the product and proper resource allocation. Responding to change also helps in minimizing surprise bugs and issues.
While transitioning your workflow and product development process into agile, there will be numerous challenges that can make it more difficult.
Mistakes while transitioning to agile are pretty common and could be very costly in terms of time, money, and employee motivation. There are a lot of differences between "being agile" and "doing agile."
- Focus on the entire process: If just the product development phase is agile. If management continues to operate traditionally, achieving the necessary results will be hard. All of the processes need to be agile and end-to-end.
- Employees' knowledge: All team members should be aware of the overall process and know their impact. It will help them to stay motivated and communicate effectively with each other.
- Don't mimic other industries: It may seem easier to copy whatever your competitors are doing to get the same effect. Although copying the principle is not bad, but mimicking the practices may not be a good idea.
- Complete understanding of your existing processes: Current teams, structures, workflows, and processes should be understood in depth before suggesting or even applying changes that would make the process agile.
- Patience is crucial: Being agile means the entire organization should focus on making small and steady changes depending on new projects and changing conditions. Agility should be maintained after it's achieved.
Adoption of agility is also to be done the agile way.
Once the existing infrastructure and processes are carefully understood, it is easier to implement new things.
It is also essential to keep in mind the challenges and change your approach once it is confirmed that it is not yielding the desired result.
Agile practices make the workforce flexible and the employees more resourceful. It truly is the way to get better results.
However, it is also to be understood that the effects of the change won't be observed overnight.
For example, end-of-the-day meetings are a great way to exchange ideas.
But if they are made mandatory irrespective of the need, it becomes a dull affair. Understanding the changing conditions and molding the process based on that is the right way to become agile.