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Today, Dan and Sam are joined once again to discuss agility — more specifically, the side effects of being agile!
The side effects of agility are often not the reasons why you should start an agile transformation, but they are still very valuable and helpful to know about.
In this episode, Dan and Sam discuss the positive side effects that organizations might want out of agility, the indirect effects (both positive and negative) of putting certain agile practices in place (or not putting them in place), and how to address the challenges that come along with losing focus on the primary principles of agility.
Why should you start an agile transformation?
Look no further than the Agile Manifesto
Common side effects organizations want out of agility:
People will be happier
We’ll get more stuff more quickly/twice the work and half the time
Increasing customer involvement
Improving the prioritization of features
Increasing team buy-in and involvement
Adapting to change during development
Better understanding the project’s status
More efficient planning and estimating
Continuous risk management
Delivering the project needed at the end
Achieving the right level of project structure
Potential negative side effects and how to combat them:
The Agile principle “welcoming changing requirements” does not mean adding requirements
When a priority is changed that means something else isn’t important anymore
It is key to clarify the priorities and remind everyone of the consequences/cost of changing them
Look at the cost of waiting to start the new thing vs. abandoning the old thing
Building lots of stuff that you don’t ship and lengthy requirements lists that you may never be able to get to (therefore generating excess inventory and waste)
You should instead focus on delivering value in increments
Use the “MVP” (minimum viable product) strategy i.e. getting something potentially valuable to your customers quickly so that they can evaluate it and you can measure it
Launching a product vs. the value you want to bring
When you don’t embrace agile fully and attempt to scope out a large project by creating a static backlog and fix the team members, you will eat through the backlog (the best-case scenario is that you get a product and the worst-case scenario is that you don’t get a product and have a lot of work-in-progress)
Think about your outcome rather than the activity than you’re engaged in or some artificial target
When the goalposts are set and there aren’t true inspection and adaptation, it’s not an agile approach
If the primary benefits of agile are not met, the secondary benefits will not matter as much and the agile transformation itself will be brought into question and challenged
When there is a purpose to what they’re doing, employee satisfaction and fulfillment goes up
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