Agile working has become an indispensable part of today’s IT and digitization projects. It forms the cornerstone for the necessary speed and customer orientation that an ever faster changing technology environment requires. Gone are the days when it was still possible to predict the next 3-5 years with pinpoint accuracy. Due to the rapid developments in the business environment, flexibility and agility are required in order to be able to respond to unforeseen events at any time.
Of course, as the number of users of products or services increases, it becomes more likely that unforeseen challenges will arise that require a quick response. For example, while the principle of online banking took 19 years to reach 1 billion users worldwide, the smartphone took 16 years. The 4G mobile communications standard was able to boast this number of users after just 4 years, and the latest 5G mobile communications standard is even estimated to reach this limit in just 3.5 years.* This means that scaling must take place quickly and effectively in the background in order to be able to handle and satisfy high user numbers. Here it is particularly useful to work with agile methods.
What exactly is agile working?
The group that developed this formulated the core values of agile software development as we still know it today with their manifesto. The two Scrum founders Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland also belonged to this group.
Agile Mindset: These are the 4 core values
● Functioning software more than comprehensive documentation
● Cooperation with the customer more than contract negotiation
● Responding to changemore than following a plan
The idea that these 4 key points can lay the foundation for agile working, even in very complex projects, shows one thing above all: a proper agile mindset is the key factor to really apply basic agile principles.
The basic agile idea and how to apply it
The focus is no longer on one’s own work and progress, but on the product the team is working on and its success, which depends on the work of each team member.
Outcome over Output
One maxim that applies here is “outcome over output” – that is, a focus on the benefits generated rather than the number of tasks completed. In iterative cycles, teams evaluate their own progress against the product goal and can adjust course if necessary. This is exactly where the four previously mentioned values are crucial. Since teams are autonomous for project success, they need to create transparency through communication and interaction regarding their work and be flexible enough to respond to changes. This is the only way to react quickly and efficiently to acute changes and to tap the full potential of the agile mindset.