There are several adjectives that describe Agile; “flexible” with “incremental deliveries”, “increased collaboration”, “adaptive project life cycle” and so on. Indeed, Agile’s benefits can have a powerful impact on the fortunes and working culture of the organization that justify its worldwide adoption. But it is useful only as long as it continues to be implemented and more often than not it is easier to fall back into the old comfortable method of working that has lesser tangible benefits.
So, what really drives an Agile project and what steps need to be followed to ensure that the Agile project continues to remain Agile? Here are our tips on how to sustain Agility in your projects:
- Set small goals:
Each iteration has a fixed goal and consistently achieving them through all the iterations is a definite recipe for project success. The trick is to have goals which are attainable and not aspire for too much. This gives scope for developing, testing and making improvements before its time to move on to the next goal. It also helps deliver a working product before the deadline, which is the whole point of an Agile project.
- Stick to iteration plans:
Iterations set the pace of the project. Iterations are planned before hand and are used to identify tasks, resources, and estimate total effort. This is especially important for large projects which have multiple teams working towards a common goal as it clearly demarcates the tasks that need to be achieved and reduces ambiguity.
- Pay attention to the technical aspect:
Ultimately the goal of any software project is to give a sustainable product to the customer that satisfies all requirements. This can only be achieved if the code quality is superior and the design is good enough to handle sudden changes without breaking down. Unit testing is therefore the driving force of Agile projects. Testing individual units to exhume defects ensures faster and more flexible response to change without overshooting budgets.
While large and small teams may differ in the way they view and adopt Agility, these basic points will keep a project Agile by ensuring attention to detail and discipline.