As a technology staffing company with many of our founders and leaders who have been in the technology industry for upwards of 20 and 30+ years, we have witnessed first-hand game-changing advancements among technologies, languages, and methodologies.
Agile Methodology was introduced in the early 2000s and REALLY started taking off around ten years ago.
Agile methodology is a project management strategy that uses short development cycle “sprints” to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service. In a nutshell, Agile focuses on 12 fundamental principles and has drastically transformed how development teams operate, giving a stronger focus on the customer and becoming faster and more flexible!
After seeing Agile take the technology industry by storm and its central focus around better productivity and customer satisfaction, leaders across all segments and industries are trying to translate it into their own careers.
WE DON’T BLAME THEM!
Here are just a couple of those critical principles that we feel you should immediately translate into your “Career Methodology.”
ONE: Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
Every great company should have their clients/customers top-of-mind when making business decisions, and that should trickle down no differently to an individual contributor level. Agile gave a new level of attention and focus to customer satisfaction, which should easily translate into everyone’s daily focus, whether in technology, accounting, manual labor, etc. If your continuous delivery is not already centrally focused on the client/customer — CHANGE IT IMMEDIATELY.
TWO: Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
In technology, Agile has aligned business initiatives with technology delivery like never before! Thanks to integrating business focus and leaders into the design, product owners/business analysts began to play an even more integral role as the liaison within a successful Agile team. This business alignment or overall cross-team collaboration should be applied for any delivery model impacted by multiple parties. The more segmented you are from different business units that affect your delivery, the more subject you are to delays, gaps, and misunderstandings.
THREE: Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.
This principle is pretty self-explanatory when you consider using your motivated teammates/employees as a centerpiece to whatever you are trying to accomplish. However, this can have an impact in ways that are important to understand. If you are a leader in any segment, start building projects and initiatives around your most motivated employees. This leadership style gives them an extra sense of ownership and accountability for the delivery, and when communicated the right way — WATCH WHAT HAPPENS!
FOUR: Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility.
Paul J. Meyer once said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.”
I have to think that the creators of Agile Methodology took a page out of this iconic motivators book. This principle is crucial for Agile’s success and something everyone should follow while performing their daily tasks. People have heard for years, “Do it right the first time.” Set your goals high, and ALWAYS shoot for excellence!
FIVE: The team reflects on becoming more effective at regular intervals, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
As part of this Agile Methodology, you have something call CI/CD. I like to think the CI has two meanings, Continuous integration, and Continuous Improvement. Agile Methodology trains all parties involved to not wait until the final delivery to reflect on the success of the project/initiative. In this methodology, regular intervals are created to better gauge the current effectiveness of duties and tasks. This ideation provides an opportunity to be more nimble and make adjustments before advancing further into the project!
Take a daily step back and reflect on your success so you can continually compare your output and effectiveness to your overall goals. That way, you can adjust accordingly to help avoid getting off track in the long run!