Agile Ways of Working (WoW) - Know your WoW now!
Organizations need digital transformation to deliver innovative software products that add value to customers. The two major IT challenges to achieve this transformation are dependencies within a huge correlated environment and the ever-evolving complex technologies. Organizations are expected to meet customer requirements, irrespective of any challenges.
Agile is one of the thriving software development methodologies that can provide customers with real-time results based on its proven practices, methods, and scaling frameworks.
What is an Agile Way of Working (WoW)?
Agile methodology comprises of various frameworks and practices to suit every organization in choosing the appropriate Agile model, based on its requirements.
In general, teams start small by adopting Agile methodologies for software development and delivery. After the teams attain a level of maturity and start scaling across multiple team-of-teams and products, they will undergo an evolutionary transformation journey.
A team can start by selecting a specific Agile Ways of Working (WoW) and subsequently switch to a different WoW to scale Agile across the enterprise and support a team of teams, high-level integrated solutions or portfolios.
WoW defines a specific Agile working model for each product or team. It enables the team to work with maximum flexibility and minimum constraints to optimize their performance. As a result, teams adopt and evolve these methods and practices, to meet the organizational needs.
Embracing Agile software delivery is an evolutionary journey starting with adopting Agile by individual teams and then scaling across multiple team-of-teams and finally transforming into a product-centric enterprise.
Jile enables an evolutionary transformation through its support for multiple Agile WoWs. It provides the flexibility for the teams to decide the Agile methods, processes, and practices, which are best fit for their team and organizational needs to optimize performance.
Jile supports multiple Agile WoWs including:
- Disciplined Agile (DA),
- Large Scale Scrum (LeSS),
- Agile Portfolio
Scrum is a lightweight Agile framework that comprises of meetings' setup, assigned roles and devised plans for managing backlogs which help in structuring the work with timelines. Scrum involves rapid changes and flexibility by producing outcomes incrementally and iteratively.
Scrum teams consists of a Scrum Master, Product Owner, and the Development team. Scrum teams are self-organizing and cross-functional. They can choose how best to accomplish their work, rather than being directed by others outside the team.
Kanban practices lean methodology to conceptualize the flow of work and also helps in reducing the work limit, as per the team's capacity. It increases productivity and enables smooth flow without any blocks interfering with the current speed of work. A Kanban board aids as a tool to achieve this efficiency and maintain the respective features and story continuity.
Scaled Agile Framework® (SAFe®)
The Scaled Agile Framework helps to implement lean-agile practices at an enterprise level to scale across the top to bottom levels. SAFe expands into four layers as follows:
- Value Stream
SAFe aids the simplest systems to scale to the most complex ones, to fit the demands of all the stakeholders. SAFe helps deliver valuable software in an effective and consistent basis.
Large-Scale Scrum (LeSS)
Large Scale Scrum is a lightweight process for scaling Scrum across multiple teams. It has two standard frameworks as follows:
- LeSS framework (for two to eight teams adopting LeSS)
- LeSS Huge (for more than eight teams adopting LeSS)
This framework endorses one product with backlogs, one Product Owner for the teams, a sprint planning at the whole level and one explanation of 'Done' with an output. The goal of LeSS is to scale the whole product within the constraints of Scrum.
Disciplined Agile (DA)
Disciplined Agile (DA) advocates to utilize the existing lean and Agile methods. It is a hybrid model and a goal-driven framework. DA addresses areas that are not covered in a smaller scale Agile framework and broadens the lifecycle of Scrum to achieve end-to-end delivery cycles for end users. DA is classified into the following three phases:
- Inception - It is the project initiation phase. The objective of this phase is to ensure that all the teams are aligned
- Construction - The objective of this phase is to build a consumable solution with sufficient functionality to meet the needs of stakeholders
- Transition (Delivery) - It is the final phase in which the solution is deployed into Production. This phase is also referred to as a Deployment phase, Release phase or Hardening sprint
Agile Portfolio management helps an organization to recognize, prioritize, arrange and manage different products. Due to its independent nature and less flux, adapting to changes is easy and a process is not mandatory to track the resources.
Agile Portfolio management makes it easy for an organization to improve the flow of software value delivered and the business outcomes are defined for the funded areas in the portfolio.
Adopting an Agile WoW for developing and delivering software is the first step in the evolutionary Agile transformation journey. The rate of Digital transformation increases by selecting and utilizing the best Agile WoW.
The objective of any digital business is to consistently deliver innovative software products to customers. When teams utilize an Agile WoW that aligns with their workflow, creativity and innovation will be the new norm.
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