Anne is a strong supporter of Agile methodology and practices that she sees as naturally aligned with Lean practices and the delivery of innovation, customer-aligned value and time sensitivity required for success in today’s world — and looking to the future.
The Agile approach for software development was formally introduced in 2001 with the Agile Manifesto for Software Development. The underlying principles remain relevant today — and also applicable to non-software solution delivery. The methodology has matured with impressive evidence of its success in companies of all sizes.
There is a common misunderstanding that Agile lacks discipline while the opposite it true. Agile, today, is highly disciplined and it is a mindset that must be shared across the organization to derive full benefits. Drivers for success and approaches to the work are different from its predecessor methodology; however the underlying model and assumptions for Agile are much closer to the dynamic nature of the real world.
Agile (and Lean) approaches:
- Focus on understanding the customer value to be delivered
- Require an essential value prioritization practice
- Break down and deliver expected value to customer in shortened, more predictable timeframes
- Build in the ability to embrace change and the need to pivot as the norm
- Adopt effective communication practices with feedback loops throughout the delivery lifecycle
- Follow a time-boxed methodology and scope content of each delivery to align
- Integrate customer feedback to inform and validate the solution and user experience
- Respond to market influences in a timely manner
- Define SUCCESS by delivery of VALUE to CUSTOMER, on a regular basis
The reason Agile emerged is because the prevailing methodology looks like this:
- Linear approach that begins with Definition (Requirements > Signoff > Development > Signoff…)
- Encourages tendency to request everything anyone thinks of rather than what is most important
- Assumes it is possible to know everything you need to know at the beginning
- What you do know at the beginning will still be true and relevant whenever delivered
- Plan driven rather than value driven and unfriendly to change: change to plan is “bad”
- Impact of change involves rework with unpleasant and unpredictable changes to schedule and cost
- Impact of complexity produces an unknown factor throughout
- Initiatives fail or, are completed and they don’t deliver the value and customer success
- Success is typically defined by completing the tasks on the plan rather than the value of the outcome