Agile Methodology: Classical Characteristics

Avatar
Laura Baciu

In this article, we will show you the classical characteristics of the agile methodology in the world of IT&C (Information Technology and Communications). 

These characteristics are emphasized by the authors Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene. In their book, they share the excitement of being agile.

The human minds are agile when it comes to finding solutions for unexpected problems. If we get stuck with something, we must think and act quickly in order to save our plans. 

In business, the human minds were agile in the first place. Running a business takes a lot of agility because time doesn’t wait for nobody. 

Today, the businesses have also become agile because time flies even faster. The economical rhythm requires 2 major things at the same pace: high quality and speed. 

agile methodology
Source: nvisia

Agile Methodology – a Paradigm of the Business 

The agile methodology is just like a paradigm in science. It started from the experiences of entrepreneurs and teams. It gained momentum from the masters of creativity. It reached the mainstream of markets. 

Finally, it transformed into a successful business paradigm. 

Agile Methodology – the Theory and the Practice 

The agile methodology refers to a system made of both theory and practice. We have methods which represent the theoretical level. We have practices and mindsets which represent the practical level. 

In the beginning, there must be a certain body of knowledge to rely on. In the end it’s all about the art of being agile(better and faster) in business and economy. 

In short, the agile methodology is learning by doing. Businesses learn to survive and thrive in the middle of the action. 

Agile Methodology – What is the Profile of Agile Teams? 

Another important characteristic, besides the paradigm-like system and mixture of theory and practice, is the agile team profile.

Back in the days, the traditional teams were following a clear path that required a certain order. Nowadays, the path has changed due to numerous transformations that occurred in the economy. 

Changing priorities

The agile teams need to act with several priorities at each point to fully adopt the agile methodology. 

Let’s give an example: a team in the industry of project management software knows its main goal but it has to deal with shifting priorities. The marketing plans are affected by the new policies of the social media companies. The team has to swipe and play another card that could attract more customers already familiar with the old social media terms. 

When the new design of the software is not enhancing the user experience (UX), the team must find a different touch which could bring success. The team has to understand this next move and follow that new priority. 

Increased productivity

The agile teams, paying special attention to their environment and economic prospects, can become more productive. When the environment is giving a signal, a company has to accept it and benefit from it.

By learning while doing and keeping in mind/server the roles of each member, these teams can increase productivity. 

The common errors are spotted at an earlier stage. The new technologies are signaling where is the highest peak of productivity and how to produce it again. 

Improved project visibility

The agile teams gain more visibility since the agile methodology marketing plays a bigger role than the traditional marketing campaigns. When the flexibility in front of the economic environment and trends is high, the team can predict certain types of customer/user behavior.

When productivity is also high, that particular product is more desired than other  similar products. More than this, even the perception that one product is more desired will lead to a bigger visibility.

And with the help of patterns generated by AI and Big Data, the visibility increases. You know  which buttons to push in order to get what you need. The motto “All eyes on us!” is the new norm. 

Enhanced software quality

The agile teams from the IT&C industry work on their softwares instead of working on prejudgements. 

Let me give an example: a company that sells drones.The team can face the high costs of maintenance. Instead of giving up, the team is focusing on making the drone an excellent tool for companies that want to advance their portfolio in airshipping. 

The high quality of a product is sometimes the best asset you can get. 

Adaptations

The agile teams need to adapt a new mindset in order to prepare for changes that might appear. It is often said that the adaptation is the mother of learning. From this perspective we could observe that all the companies that embraced adaptations in front of the economical, financial, business and psychological environments, managed to survive.

Of course, all these adaptations can lead sometimes to a stressful rhythm. However, the mental preparedness and the optimism are 2 keys for the battle against stress inside the teams. 

Agile Methodology – 4 Roles That Define Project Management Inside a Company 

Agile Methodology in Project Management
Source: APM

The agile methodology sure puts the team first. In the industry of IT&C the management of a project requires 4 positions that are vital for the success of the entire team. 

Project Manager

The project manager is the person that starts and finishes a project of the company. Such a person collaborates with all the stakeholders involved. They represent the legal layer of the project management. They are the general head responsible for that particular project.

This position requires practices such as: 

  • Task boards: tasks that need to be fulfilled in order to finish the project,
  • Prioritization: although the constant changes produce changing priorities, the project manager has to observe how these priorities interplay with the environment and to decide the best options, and 
  • Estimation: the project manager takes a closer look at the time schedules and proposes the general plan (for more details see how Gantt chart can be utilized).  

Team leader

A team leader is the person that takes care of the team. They delegate all the specific tasks. They understand how the team works in order to deliver a certain product. They are the link between the project manager and the members of the team. They also help solve the minor problems that can appear.

This position requires practices such as: 

  • Collaborative leadership: the team leaders not only lead the people but they also empower them and takes decisions on their own, they have to be the couches through their own behaviors
  • Information radiator: the team leaders present the newsfeed in an efficient manner so that the right information can be segmented and used properly.  

Product owner

The product owner is the person in charge of the software itself. They are the link between the team that creates the software and the customers that will use the software. 

The product owner must see through the eyes of the team (the needs of the members) and through the eyes of the customers (the needs and desires of the people). 

This position requires practices such as: 

  • Product backlog: they set a list of top priorities for the development team,
  • User stories: they understand the psychology of the user and integrate that psychology into the product as a full package representative for that particular company,
  • Iterations: the product owner repeats the steps in order to define the final structure of the product. 

For more specifics, see the practical implementation in the Scrum Definitive Guide.

Developer

Developers are the agile minds behind the product. They write the code for the software. They must master a certain level of technical skills. They need to understand the rationale behind the product. It is often said that the developers create and the company sells.

This position requires practices such as: 

  • Code refactoring: clarifying and simplifying the design of the program source code without changing its behavior,
  • Integration with the work of the rest of the developer: taking into consideration the work done by the colleagues  for maintaining the cohesion of the software,
  • Test-driven development: developers add the functions, run and test them, make certain changes and then repeat the process in order to assure a simple, intuitive yet powerful tool as the final product. 

Agile Methodology Principles

The agile methodology is based on several practices that make this business paradigm so successful. 

Principle 1: Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools

There are valued skills of the people and the interactions that produce new skills, it is the “learning by doing” perspective that we’ve talked about before.

The processes are run by the members of the team and the tools are the means needed for achieving various goals. 

Principle 2: Working Software Over a Comprehensive Documentation

The core value is in a software that runs according to the major goals rather than spending too much time on drafting the plans and rewriting them over and over again without getting down to business. 

Principle 3: Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation

This principle derives from the importance of the buyer/customer/user, instead of negotiating on a contract. 

The team prefers to communicate and collaborate with the clients so that the clients can accept the product with custom-made features in the end.  

Principle 4: Responding to Change Over Following a Plan

The team, knowing that priorities and environments change, is working to stay flexible in front of these challenges. This fact builds resilience and experience that can be used in the next endeavours. 

How does Lumeer apply the agile methodology? 

In order to help its customers, Lumeer is taking into consideration the perspective  “learning by doing”, from the development of the product until integrating the feedback of the customers, stakeholders and partners.

If you wish to start working on your team’s project by using our platform, you will benefit from the flexibility of Lumeer to track any agile project, always presenting the exact current state of everything. 

Introducing transparency, providing the accurate big picture and the ability to drill-down where needed are also important features that make the customers want to use this software again.

These features will help all the team members to do their job. Because once you get agile, you will always remain agile and aware of the business environment. 

Take a closer look at one of our Agile Project Templates.

Already leaving? Save 1 day every week guaranteed!

We have analysed the time saved by teams that already joined Lumeer. Get 52 days back every year!

By pressing the Subscribe button, you agree to our newsletter terms and conditions.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.