Navigating Product Development Complexities with Agile

The stark difference between recognizing the indispensability of agile and not recognizing it, is the outbreak of a pandemic. A torrent of new changes ushered in by COVID-19 has irreversibly disrupted the existing systems and brought under the spotlight, companies’ agility (or lack of it) to navigate the new reality.

“In this complex world, however, uncertainty is inseparable from reality and to make events of chance, a scapegoat for performing poorly is not only an exercise in futility but reckless too.” Albeit enormous, Covid-19 crisis is another of many uncertainties that businesses must master against.

Adopting a flexible set of principles and adapting according to need, creates built-in flexibility for businesses to withstand and forestall the jolt of incoming uncertainties. Agility within the culture, people, and processes of software development act as an antidote to bureaucratic knots, tunnel vision silos, vacuum operations, and perpetual delays.

Become the agile product leader your organization needs:

Leaders need to recognize and be the first ones to signal change by adopting agile ways of working and telegraphing the same through their evolved public behaviors. “Good leaders lead, agile leaders, lead with the intention to serve.”

Championing the values of trust, transparency, accountability, collaboration and by realizing the promise of trial and error, they focus on empowering their software development teams and removing impediments to drive value. In cultivating servant leadership, agile leaders withdraw from micromanaging the smallest details, develop newer ways of open communication to engage with the organization, and grant autonomy to their cross-functional teams.

The most effective agile leaders are the ones who model their new behavior to reflect agile ways of working; in decision making, daily communication, and development strategies. So, the agile software development teams and companies go a long way in their effective services to their esteemed clientele.

Replacing Vacuum in Operations with Collaborative Agile Development

Working in silos; clacking away at desks, performing pre-decided tasks in isolation makes one a tunnel visionary. Marking a shift from information silos, agile product development focuses on cohesive collaboration by creating cross-functional teams.

These teams consist of a small number of individuals who are adaptive in the face of challenges, incorporate feedback regularly to continually improve, and build on the momentum through instant issue resolution. The characterization of these teams is embedded in the necessity for employees to exercise ownership and shared responsibility of their work instead of being tethered by their rigidly defined job roles and fragmented information.

The internal complexity is shriveled by introducing a culture of cross-collaboration enabling transparency, end-to-end accountability, focuses on execution, and combating resistance. Agile software development eliminates queuing delays, reworks, and promotes delivery in the shortest time frame.

Replicating the mechanics of agile uproots the nimbleness out of your team. It is the critical principles of agile that give life and meaning to technicalities. Extricate free communication, customer satisfaction, and collaboration out of the process, and push for sprints, scrums, and timeboxes. Agility empowers teams to deliver value.

Taking a Quantum Leap with DevOps: A Step Ahead with the Agile Practices

Getting agile right promises astronomical advancements in the growth of a company. Capitalizing on that promise is DevOps, adoption of which is a key accelerator that fortifies the agile software development process for faster, reliable, secure, and iterative release cycles.

Many companies are half harvesting the benefits of DevOps by having a few elements in places like automated testing, continuous software development, and release. However, the passive approach and the reluctance to make holistic changes is a barrier in capturing the all-encompassing benefits of DevOps.

Constitutional changes in control and governance, business units, and operating models are prerequisites in beginning with and getting ahead with DevOps. In the DevOps paradigm, irrelevant software controls that once served the purpose of a company but are now obsolete and decelerate operations are adjusted, to address the variability in business needs. “Amazon’s success with transitioning to Agile DevOps back in 2010 significantly reduced the number of outages, resulting in saving millions. It captured the benefits of continuous deployment process, managed by their internal system called Apollo, which equipped their developers to deploy codes on any of the servers at all times. Within a year, Amazon was deploying new software to production servers on an average of every 11.6 seconds.”

Gaining a quantum leap with DevOps is an organized, gradual process that begins with phasing it in with existing systems. Building digital adeptness with a pilot project, and subsequently adopting DevOps practices helps translate into deciding and adopting a suite of tools and technical mechanisms.

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