If you are considering taking your first steps on the agile journey, you will be able to experience a world of dynamic collaboration, adaptability, and constant value delivery. Before starting the journey it’s important to understand what is agile. Agile is a project management methodology that covers short development cycles, continuous improvement and multifunctional and self-organized teams. In an agile environment, teams develop a product or service where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration and customer feedback. In this article, we will address three initial steps to understand and start applying the Agile concepts.
Learn the fundamentals of the agile manifesto
As a first step, one should become familiar with the principles and values of the agile manifesto. The document was created in 2001 by a group of 17 developers, and it introduces 12 principles and 4 values to be used as guides for best practices in the work of technology teams. Its relevance and impact were so significant that companies from other segments began to apply the methods and adopt the values and principles of the Agile Manifesto. The 4 values are composed of:
1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
2. Working software over comprehensive documentation
3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
4. Responding to change over following a plan
The 12 principles describe a culture of change and customer focus to maximize results. Agile manifesto does not just address processes or tools. Above all, it talks about working together with trust and respect, developing quality software, working with agility and transparency.
Understand the methods and frameworks
The second step is to understand the frameworks and methods available. Take time to explore and choose the one that best suits your needs and your work environment. Scrum, for example, is a framework that facilitates collaboration, adaptation and value delivery in an iterative and incremental manner. It is based on three fundamental pillars: transparency, inspection and adaptation. Scrum promotes a flexible approach to handling change and seeks to maximize value delivered to the customer. Another example is Kanban that emphasizes visual tracking of work using Kanban board, in which tasks are represented on cards and moved by the different stages of the workflow.
In the blog of SVPM you can find a great video addressing the introduction and definition of the agile frameworks that can provide more insight on this subject.
Put it into practice
The third step is to start applying agile concepts little by little by selecting a project or team and as you gain confidence and familiarity you can gradually expand to other projects. Nonetheless, if you are still at the theoretical stage and you would like to gain experience working as part of a team to share ideas and apply the concepts you have learned above, a great option is to take part in volunteer projects. It can provide you with the opportunity to experience agility in a real-world context, as you will be collaborating with many different individuals and adapting to various environments.
The SVPM is an excellent opportunity to apply agile concepts and improve them through volunteer work. You will meet people from all over the world who are willing to help you and assist you in a practical and effective manner. If you are interested in learning more about SVPM, on the blog you can find additional information on the blog about the history and the opportunity to volunteer.
It is important to remember that agile is a continuous and ever-evolving process. Understanding the agile manifesto, experimenting with a variety of frameworks, and gaining experience in your projects or volunteering will prepare you to begin your agile journey with a greater sense of confidence and mastery.
Agile Manifesto <https://www.productplan.com/glossary/agile-manifesto/>
The Agile Coach <https://www.atlassian.com/agile>
What is the Agile Manifesto? <https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101/the-agile-manifesto/>