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Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

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02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

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Straight Talk on Adopting Agile

Posted on: 14 May '14
Dwight Kingdon
Principal Consultant – Agile Coach, Gainesville Delivery Center

“Agile” is a hot topic these days in product development circles, but what does it really entail for your business? The Agile approach is simple in concept, but is not so easy to implement successfully. Which is usually why companies often fail at Agile – they do the easy parts without doing the hard parts. For example, they implement daily stand-up meetings, and chop up requirements into sprints, and then call themselves “Agile”.

But while Agile practices are important, Agile is really more about the principles of changing how people interact, work and think. It’s about establishing a culture that embraces open collaboration between business and technical individuals across an enterprise. It’s about continuous improvement through inspection and adaption. And it’s about transparency and accountability of actions. Here are a few other points you may want to think about when it comes to adopting Agile:

First of all, many companies underestimate the time commitment and skills required by the role of the Product Owner. So, they pick a resource based solely on product knowledge.  An Agile Product Owner is a project’s key stakeholder. He or she is responsible for maintaining and prioritizing the product backlog features (stories) by collaborating with all stakeholders, and ensuring that the development team understands what the highest value features are. To become truly effective at this, most Product Owners need to be trained and groomed over time.

Secondly, it’s important to keep things simple. Many people try to complicate Agile or turn it into a methodology. Instead, Agile principles promote simplification wherever possible. For example, documentation is lighter while still providing needed governance; meetings are time-limited to keep them focused; face-to-face communication is preferred to minimize miscommunication or delays; and detailed planning is done only for the more immediate priorities instead of constructing a comprehensive end-to-end plan that is likely to change dramatically by the project’s end.

And last but not least, the Agile principles of open collaboration, continuous improvement, transparency and accountability should ideally be promoted across the entire enterprise. Implementing Agile principles can improve operational speed and excellence, and foster greater corporate growth and profitability.

Dwight Kingdon

Dwight Kingdon is an Agile Coach at Mindtree. He is a thought leader in Agile methods and best practices, leveraging many years of software development, analysis, project management and leadership experience. Dwight has 25+ years of project management experience leading complex information technology projects, and over nine years of Agile/Scrum experience coaching and leading high profile, mission critical projects.

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