Running a business using any predetermined methodology can be stressful and quite risky. You are essentially putting all of your faith into someone else’s hands in hope that their way of doing things will work for you.
One such example is the Agile startup business model that helps young and inexperienced digital entrepreneurs begin their corporate journey. But what are some of the distinguishing features of Agile model and how can you implement them into your own start-up?
One of the main reasons why Agile is considered a hard business model to work with is the fact that it doesn’t only represent a change in work habits. Agile changes your team’s complete mindset, making sure they are focused on more than just their personal goals and look at the bigger picture instead.
The cornerstone of Agile remains in its name – your team, coworkers and executives have to be “agile” in their everyday working routines in order to drive the project home and have a successful client relationship. Some of the more predominant features of Agile include:
- Focus on customer satisfaction and collaboration instead of negotiation and direct sales
- Ever-changing working environment that welcomes change and embraces new ideas
- Software-based workflow that directly measures productivity and progress
- Continued workflow simplicity and sustainability
- Individuality of teams that work on their projects and personal skills inside the team
- Facetime with coworkers and team members instead of web meetings and email correspondences
Adapting to Agile
Taking your team and internal company workflow into an Agile environment can take some time and patience depending on your current state of affairs. Giving this work model a chance is always a good idea since a lot of your previous bottlenecks will be resolved by a simple team meeting or a change in direction.
Keep in mind that every single member of your team or company will experience a sudden shift in their everyday productivity due to the new Agile working environment. The transformation may take up to several weeks depending on the cooperation and coordination of your HR department.
1. Simplifying goals
Agile is there to make your job easier and simpler. That means that long-term goals should be considered visionary and in order to get there, you will have a lot of smaller goals to go through. This is because Agile revolves around small milestones and checkpoints on the way to team success. This gives everyone on the team a chance to do a bit of work that suits their skills and meet on the other side with everyone else.
Try breaking up your team goal into smaller chunks of work that are manageable even if only one person works on them. Once that person is finished they can move onto another milestone or help out a colleague who got stuck with a milestone he/she can’t handle. This sort of job delegation is the cornerstone of Agile, meaning that everyone can and has to do everything in order to finish the project on time.
2. Scrum meetings
Now that your goal is broken up into smaller chunks, it’s much easier to handle and write a report on it. While weekly meetings are always going to stay in your schedule, Agile will make sure that they are never as dominant as before. This is because Agile introduces so called “Scrum” meetings into your everyday schedule in order to make sure that everyone knows what they are doing.
A scrum meeting is basically a quick advice and recap session between you and your team. You can gather in your office in a matter of minutes and discuss what everyone has been up to that day and what they plan on doing tomorrow. This is a good example of how Agile can keep everyone in your startup on their feet and focused on the task at hand.
Developing a transition from a weekly schedule into a Scrum environment won’t go unnoticed and many of your colleagues will think they know better. It’s important to communicate the importance of implementing Agile to the fullest if you are to succeed.
3. Productivity and deadlines
One of the hardest parts of Agile to align with is the fact that this model revolves around constant productivity. For example, if you have a deadline of four weeks in order to make five posters, you will have to start making them from day one and not wait until the last week to start the production.
This is because Scrum meetings require constant updates on where everyone stands currently and where they are headed. It’s always better to at least show something for the time that passed between your meetings instead of showing up empty handed.
Showing up to a meeting without anything to report can not only be embarrassing but also detrimental to your entire team’s moral. These people count on you as much as you count on them, and Agile is making sure that everyone needs to be productive if the team wants to succeed.
Your transformation into Agile will never stop – that’s one of the reasons why people opt for this workflow model. Your team dynamics and workflow will constantly shift and no two weeks will ever be the same once you fully adapt to Agile.
Make sure that your team is fully aware of what this model will bring with it and that they are aboard with it. Having to explain yourself after you have made the needed changes can only slow down your progress towards making an Agile startup with a clear direction.