How many of you are in IT Project Management and use Agile methodologies in software development life cycle? Doesn’t matter! If you think about it we all use Agile in our daily lives (without making it complex of course). If you feel you don’t then let’s start! Incorporating this practice in your daily routine will be a guide towards self improvement and short term achievements which will lead to a sense of satisfaction.
What is Agile? Your ability to move quickly and easily. But moving too quickly can actually limit your ability to move effortlessly. Waterfall methodology suggests to complete your goal sequentially. In SDLC the sequence would be as follows, gather requirements; design, code; perform system testing; perform user acceptance testing (UAT); fix bugs and deliver the finish product. The biggest draw back of this method, once you reached the end product you don’t really know if it will be successful and accepted by customers. If you don’t have a success story to share, then you would have to go back and re-start the sequence once again! In other words, you moved quickly but not efficiently and not easily because you are having to go back.
Now to prevent this sort of disruption Agile kicks in! There is only one main difference between Agile and Waterfall methodology. In Agile, you adapt to change by customer feedbacks as the software is being developed. You run on a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) or an existing product and improve it as the customer is using it and responding to what to keep and change.
Agile is the process of measuring, learning, feedback and loop. Agile reduces the risk, increases value, adapts while work in progress, and provides better cost management. Agile has it’s backlog in order, there is a clear visibility of what is completed to date. The backlog requirements are sorted by priority. This means the requirements don’t have to be completed in sequence like the Waterfall method and are completed in order of importance. This way the product can be released whenever acceptable rather than waiting on a feature to be ready. User feedback supports with the understanding of where changes are required or when to Pivot. A change is needed when each experiment leads to loss of progress. Since the project is being adapted as user feedback, there is no need to dispose the entire project when there is a negative feedback. This makes Agile more cost efficient.
Now in life to lose weight quickly, you would have to give up chocolate, pizza, oil, salt, sugar and carbs. If you go on such a diet, you know you would reach your results quickly. But once you have reached your outcome, you then realize you are not happy! You reached an outcome by overlooking the side effects. Now you are unhealthy, have vitamin deficiency and missing bunch of essential nutrients which is leaving dark spots on your face (often happens in modelling!).
But if you were more Agile, you pick up your sticky notes and run to the whiteboard! You are on search mode without commitment. You would find a diet plan that works for you and read cases where the diet has worked and didn’t work. Also, don’t forget to find the side effects of these plans! Then call up a nutritionist and a personal trainer.
Yes, you will be the Scrum Master and run Sprint meetings with your trainer and nutritionist. You will clarify your requirements with them and specify what you are looking to achieve, being more healthy, losing weight, gaining weight, toning, etc. Your trainer and nutritionist will help you find a proper diet plan and workout plan. You, the trainer and nutritionist will break down the workout and meal plan into parts/iterations. You will set an estimated time of completion on each iteration goals. Set an estimated budget on the following, trainer/nutritionist fees, gym membership cost, and for cost all these healthy fruits and vegetables from Wholefoods.
With each Sprint meeting, you, your trainer and nutritionist will measure your progress and the time it took to get to your goal. This will calculate the Velocity, and you will know how long it’s taking you to complete these goals. Now since, you can’t have a Burndown chart in this example, track your progress everyday. There are many apps such as Lifesum, which tracks your daily meals and workout. If along this whole process you feel this diet plan is just not working for you then Pivot and or search mode again, find another diet plan.
We do this in relationship and in our career as well. We don’t commit on our first date! We keep dating without commitment and experiment and learn about the person. We make mind notes of what the Pros and Cons are until we see that person is a potential. If the person is not a fit in our life then we go on search mode again. Same with our careers, if we hate where we work, we seek guidance and mentors. We plan. Then we educated ourselves in training and skills that will get us a better opportunity to where we want to be. Then we search.
Remember, you just have to measure, learn, review and repeat…