Agile Tools and Techniques

How to create an Agile Environment

Two of the most common setbacks to adopting an Agile methodology are due to the organization's culture being at odds with Agile values or general resistance to change across the organization.

Therefore, Agile must be viewed not just as a project methodology but also as a holistic approach to projects. Agile impacts the entire organization, even those not directly working on projects. And to be successful, the overall company environment needs to support the values and principles of Agile.

The four pillars that any Agile environment needs to support are:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

The company must value people over processes and be willing and open to adapt to changing needs.

2. Working software over comprehensive documentation

The emphasis must be on creating working project deliverables. Stakeholders, including the executive, should support eliminating needless documentation and reducing paperwork requirements to allow team members to spend more time creating project deliverables.

3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation

The customer must be viewed as a teammate and an open relationship must be formed with frequent communication. Your company needs to be willing to make changes to satisfy the customer, even if that means having to amend the original contract.

4. Responding to change over following a plan

An Agile environment requires a willingness to be flexible and adapt quickly to changes. If technology requires a change of scope midway through a project, an Agile team will work it into the next sprint, whereas a traditional environment may refuse to adapt.

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