Agile for Executives

Lawrence TillsonAugust 12, 2019

Agile is a promising alternative to a command-and-control-style management, and within the tech industry Agile enhances speed to market, quality of projects, as well as seeing amazing gains in success rates. On top of that, there has also been an increase in motivation and team productivity among employees. Agile permits your employees to self-manage, become accountable to themselves and their teams, and gives you the ability to focus on the bigger picture.

The biggest issue when it comes to Agile is not the software itself but managers misunderstanding Agile, how to implement it, and when to use it. Agile is about innovation, and it may seem chaotic but there is a method to the madness. Scrum is one component of Agile which focuses on empowering a small team generally between 3 to 9 people which self-manages. Each team will have an initiative owner, who isn’t in charge, however, they are responsible for connecting with different stakeholders such as customers, executives, or business managers. The small teams will perform sprints which are production cycles, usually lasting less than a month, and during each sprint they will have daily stand-up meetings. During each meeting the team will be updated on where each member is on the project. Agile allows for more freedom for your teams to operate, makes your employees more work focused, and removes unnecessary obstacles. However, Agile is not a cure-all, and needs to be used for a complex problem where the solution is not known, the work can be organized into modules, where there is close cooperation with end users (allowing for feedback), and where product requirements are subject to change. To best implement Agile, you should start small. Build your Agile teams by assigning them small projects in order to give them a taste for the new system.

One of the most important things to do to implement Agile is to remove barriers.. You need to get all your employees on the same page, ensure open communication, and provide all teams (even teams not using Agile) the same to-do lists. You should keep your old structures at first but change the roles in the team. Every decision should only have one boss. This component highlights who was responsible for each decision. The focus must be put on teams. You also need to stop focusing on individuals and start seeing the teams as singular units. Then you can lead those teams by asking them questions to see where they are and what they’re doing, to build your understanding.

Agile is a revolutionary way to innovate your business, and it allows you to put more trust in your employees while maximizing their potential for growth and learning.

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