First, before we understand what agile methodologies are all about, we need to realize that every task has to be, somehow, completed.
Sometimes the assignments we have are so easy to handle that we don’t even bother about organizing our time or coming up with techniques to facilitate their execution. On the other hand, there are more complex situations where we feel lost and it’s hard to even tell how to start dealing with a given task.
Now imagine that you are part of a development team and you have several items coming from a backlog, and that you need to discuss with your peers a practical, optimized solution to carry out all those assignments.
Okay, I have this challenge of tasks that have to be done… What now?
Now, the agile methodologies will help you to complete your activities, no matter their complexity level, and basically enable you to make double the work in half the usual time.
To start doing that, you’ll need to gather your team and learn what are the actual tasks to be executed that are on your radar. Usually, agile methodologies are implemented in the company by the PO (Product Owner) or Product Manager — who represents the final user’s needs and who, along with the development team, can list those activities. Before implementing any given methodology, tough, you must have at least a basic understanding of each of the most common ones.
And what would be the main agile methodologies?
It’s one of the most popular existing methods. To utilize it, you need to have a good overall understanding of your team, so you can define, in detail, the role that each member will play out during the actual, practical undertaking of the tasks.
In this methodology, it’s also important that someone takes responsibility for the customers’ needs, leading meetings with enough knowledge to sort each task’s priorities and understand their related features.
These meetings, where the direction that the team will take to develop each backlog item is set, are called Planning. From there, items that will be developed are sent to a Sprint, which may last up to four weeks.
At the end of each Sprint, the team reviews everything that was done and what needs adjustment. Then, a new sprint begins and so on until all pending backlog items are concluded.
It’s a methodology where everything that’s being done is sorted visually to improve understanding.
The simplest, most efficient divisions of this format are made up of three parts:
- To do: where pending activities are allocated;
- Doing: where ongoing activities are allocated;
- Done: where completed activities are displayed;
However, since this technique is so simple, with three fundamental steps, companies usually adopt some extra tabs in order to have a more detailed picture of what’s being done by the employees. Check this Kanban board with additional tabs to get a better picture:
Picture 1 – Kanban Board
You can check out how to apply scrum and kanban methodologies in a help desk department here.
In this methodology, you simply need to focus your attention in five principles:
- Specific: your task needs to be clear and objective (specific), without room for misinterpretation and things like that;
- Measurable: it also needs to be measurable, so you need to establish values related to the task that are capable of proving its results;
- Attainable: no matter how challenging your task is, it has to be attainable, i.e. if you have a difficult goal to achieve, remember that executing it must be possible in the first place;
- Relevant: your goal or task needs to be relevant for your work/personal life. In other words, it wouldn’t be worth it to go through all the trouble of using a methodology to achieve something that won’t generate some kind of impact on your company.
- Time-related: the main reason for this topic is it excels in fighting procrastination. It determines that you need to define a deadline to complete your task.
In the management universe, the concept of lean involves the identification and elimination of wasting in processes and is commonly tied to technology startup environments (also note that this concept is useful for any situation where you are able to manage your actions in an optimized way).
The concept was created by Eric Ries, who addresses, in one of his studies, the MVPs (Minimum Viable Product) technique, which is the simplest functional version of a product. The tactic involves the minimum necessary effort for a product idea to become functional at a conceptual, project level, to ensure it actually works, and only after that it will receive improvements on extra details that are not tied to its core functionalities.
And what would be the ideal methodology for me?
There’s no exact answer to define what methodology is the best one, since we know that each set of iterations, challenges, and tasks to be developed by a company constitute a very unique way of working. To put it in simple words: it depends on a lot of things.
Make some tests with your team, or try applying agile methodologies on your personal tasks, and decide which one brings the best results for your working routine, taking into account the market in which your company operates.
There are a lot of companies that use multiple methods, managing to fit Scrum practices in a Kanban methodology, for example.
In this article, we understood in a summarized way some strategies that can improve our performance and productivity and make everything more organized and dynamic.
Keeping tasks and consequently processes organized and standardized enables the company to achieve a result quicker and in a more assertive way, which is essential in such a dynamic and constantly changing world like the one we live in nowadays.
The agile methodology is capable to reduce deadlines, lower costs and enable changes that won’t impact the final product delivery directly. This tool is also capable of providing clarity over the processes being executed in the company. With this transparent view, process automation makes activities quicker and less bureaucratic. Check, in practice, how to make your company way more agile by combining one or more of these methodologies with our process automation tools. Try Fusion Platform for 15 days or talk to one of our consultants.