Agile

How Agile Works for Non-IT Teams

Online software isn’t only reserved for Silicon Valley’s bubbly, co-working-style offices anymore. Every organization digitizes photo, audio and visual information for a better user experience. A similar shift is happening when it comes to how companies are managing these online platforms. They are adopting Agile

The Agile approach to project management favors a collaborative and iterative environment. Teams work cross-functionally to design, test, and release working software in a cycle. They also include user and stakeholder feedback throughout the development process.

A 2019 survey by KPMG International Limited (KPMG) found 81 percent of respondents were transitioning toward adopting Agile practices. The participants represented businesses across Europe, Asia and South America. 

“A product or value stream-oriented approach to project management seems to be the new normal,”

The survey reports. 

 

That’s because Agile practices can lead to faster product delivery times and increased customer loyalty. They also encourage more collaboration between business and IT operations. These factors are essential to owning a thriving business in today’s saturated markets.

Let’s now see how your non-IT team can transition!

 

How to Adopt Faster Product Delivery 

In Agile, product delivery focuses on quickly providing working software to launch an offering faster. From a non-IT perspective, this means streamlining the testing process before a cosmetics launch. It could also reduce the time it takes for a new marketing campaign. 

Let’s use the cosmetics launch example. Faster product delivery in this scenario could be:  

  • Rapid Iterative Development:

Agile breaks down the product development process into smaller, two to four-week iterations called sprints. During each sprint, different teams across the cosmetic company simultaneously focus on meeting set deliverables.

That could be developing formulas and brainstorming design packages. 

The business would have to organize sprints to complement the development process of a makeup product. Doing so will allow different departments to focus on inventory and ingredient sourcing in unison.

During daily stand-ups or sprint retrospectives, teams update each other to identify potential roadblocks and troubleshoot existing ones. 

People working together

  • Faster Decision Making:

Autonomy is encouraged in all team members across an Agile organization. That could look like making a spur-of-the-moment decision to switch vendors due to projected delays in shipping. Maybe you need to quickly edit the copy of a marketing campaign before a demo.

 

Empowering employees to act fast means they don’t have to wait on approvals that could cost days. Quicker decision-making also improves problem-solving and communication skills, so your team is more valuable. Remember, you can air grievances or brainstorm new approaches during scrum meetings

  • Prioritized Feature Development:

Cosmetic companies base their product launches on the value their customers will get. This purpose usually aligns with their overall business objectives. 

Say a brand aims to provide a sustainable foundation for all skin tones. The first release would include a diverse shade range made from natural ingredients, using environmentally friendly packaging.

The following launches would improve based on refined objectives that align with user and stakeholder feedback. 

This approach helps the company get its initial product to market quicker. Furthermore, the organization provides updated versions that continuously adapt to changing consumer needs. 

Adopting Agile to quicken product delivery can help an organization stay relevant and competitive. Think of it like an iPhone; each launch keeps consumers enticed.

Additionally, basing updates on user feedback can help sustain customer loyalty. 

Let’s look at how.

 

The Relationship Between Agile and Customer Loyalty

The Agile methodology emphasizes continuous feedback and adaptation.

In software development, stakeholders and consumers relay their user experience to the product owner and scrum team during sprint reviews, but you can apply this approach to any organization’s workflow.

Say you’re opening a taco truck and want to cater your menu to a broader demographic better. Continuous feedback and adaptation might look like; offering clients a bag of free chips with their meal in exchange for filling out a survey on what they like and don’t like about the menu and why.

As the product owner, you could work with your development team of cooks to incorporate client feedback into enhancing your menu offerings or ingredients.

Collaboration

Implement this process every two to four weeks, and see how well your customers respond to tasting their input in your food.

Along with employees, loyal customers are the driving force behind any successful business. Plus, allowing your audience to share what they like and don’t like about a product or service takes much of the work out of deciphering what will sell.

PPC Group suggests adopting this Agile practice in your business minimizes delays to three weeks if something goes wrong, and 42 percent of respondents to KPMG’s survey listed customer satisfaction as a reason they adopted Agile in their organization. We know when consumers are happy, they will keep coming back.

 

Adopting Agile for More Synergy Between Business and IT Operations

According to KMPG, 45 percent of surveyed businesses said improving collaboration and communication between industry and IT was one of the main reasons for adopting Agile practices.

That is because Agile promotes cross-functional cooperation between team members and departments.

Its continuous development and improvement (CD/CI) ethos means the input of stakeholders, developers, consumers, and other relevant individuals to avoid product-to-market delays;

everyone is involved in the problem-solving process, leading to faster decision-making.

Furthermore, the digitization of markets means IT, technology, and business departments must stay on the same page,

“The boundaries between IT, technology, and business are blurring,”

says Koning and Koot.

People shaking hands in partnership


How to Mitigate Potential Challenges of Adopting Agile in Your Organization

While adopting Agile can provide a competitive advantage for your business, you’ll likely require resource investment, feedback prioritization, and consistent oversight to remain successful.

Agileseventeen’s community portal is a great place to start if you are looking to network with, learn from, or hire Agile coaches that can help design and scale your transformation. We also have a variety of SAFe and Agile Scrum courses you can take for a more hands-on approach.

Wherever you are on your journey, please email us at talkagile@agileseventeen.com so we can help you get started on your Agile transformation.