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Leveraging The Agile Mindset To Deliver Exceptional App Experiences

Delivering exceptional website and app experiences is crucial to succeed in the digital space. This article sheds light on how a business should embrace and leverage the ‘Agile Mindset’ in their app or software development processes.

Agile is an adaptive and iterative approach to project management and software development. Agile specializes in enabling high-quality delivery even with the small teams focusing on requirements wholly or partially. Agile promises to deliver the product increments in the time-boxed frame with adaptiveness to the client’s requirement.

Agile Mindset

1. Agile Manifesto:

Agile Manifesto

In the above images, we value the items on the left more than the items on the right.

2. Agile Principle:

  • Customer Satisfaction through consistent delivery
  • Adaptive to the changing requirements
  • Delivering the working software/value more frequently
  • Cross-functional team Collaboration
  • Effective and efficient method of communication
  • Continuous excellence
  • Self-organizing individuals and technically-strong teams
  • Consistent monitoring of performance

3. Agile – A mindset

The Agile mindset has the values and principles that provide a clear picture of how to respond to the changes and uncertainty. With the Agile mindset, the organizations define their structure and way of operations with uncertainties and changing situations.

4. Frameworks of Agile

4.1. Scrum:

Scrum is an empirical method that helps the team to work with the knowledge of real-time experience rather than theories. Scrum helps the teams to think in the hypothetical way of how a process/software works and figure out the impediments and self-correct themselves

4.1.1. Best Suitable:

When a cross-functional team is involved and a significant amount of work involved

4.1.2. Core Practices:

  • Attention and focus to small changes
  • Respect each other
  • Commitment and Accountability towards work
  • Openness towards sharing the ideas

4.1.3. Events

Sprint:

A sprint is a timeboxed event of preparing and delivering the product increments (typically 2 weeks).

Sprint Planning:

Sprint planning starts at the requirement level. With the product backlog in hand, the scrum team starts prioritizing the tasks from the product backlog and decides on the list of items, and formulate the plan of completing the tasks in upcoming sprints. Sprint planning benefits the team by providing a clear understanding of the requirement that they will work on.

A Product Owner analyses the requirement list and constructs the product backlog with the priorities and Sprint goal.

A Team Member will decide on the list of items to be worked on in that particular sprint.

A Scrum Master typically facilitates the Scrum team towards the end goal by ensuring that the impediments faced by the team are sorted out and the challenges are discussed openly.

Daily Scrum:

A daily scrum is a meeting that lasts for 15mins every day as part of the sprint to know the status of the requirements, understand, and address the impediments and challenges faced by the development team. The entire Agile Development Team will be part of the daily scrum

Sprint Review:

The primary function for carrying out the sprint review is to look at the tasks completed against the product backlog. In the end, there will be a clear and understandable enhancement in the product increments.

Sprint Retrospective:

This session helps the development team to identify the impediments and challenges which in turn helps improve the overall processes and way of working.

Sprint Retrospective

4.1.4. Scrum Artifacts:

Product backlog:

The product backlog is nothing but a collection of requirements/feature lists to develop a complete product. PB is the primary responsibility of the product owner. PB helps in ranking the features according to what stands high and low by using the prioritization methods.

Sprint backlog:

The SB is the list of requirements that are selected by the development team to work on a particular sprint (Given Duration). Sprint Backlog is displayed as the board in any of the project management tools (Jira) which makes the process transparent for all

Increments:

The items either be the PB, SB, developed software, User stories, use cases that are available for an end-user in the form of software.

4.1.5. Scrum Flow:

Backlog -> To-Do -> In Progress -> Blocked -> Done

4.1.6. Difference Between Agile and Scrum

  • Scrum is standard whereas Agile is more flexible
  • Scrum is self-organizing whereas Agile is leader-dependent
  • Scrum is innovative whereas Agile is simple

4.2. KANBAN:

Kanban is a Japanese method that means ‘billboard’ which indicates the available capacity. Kanban is a concept related to just-in-time production (What to produce, when to produce, and how much to produce). Kanban is introduced in places where continuous monitoring is required. The primary goal of Kanban is to deliver high-quality products in a short period of time.

4.2.1. Best Suitable:

When a continuous improvement is a key focus

4.2.2. Core Practices:

  • Visualize the work
  • Limit the work in progress (Max 3 items per phase)
  • Manage workflow
  • Transparent [ Make process policies explicit]
  • Implement change management [feedback loop]
  • Collaborative and experimental approach

4.2.3. Core Concept:

Kanban is an evolutionary change management technique that performs many minor changes rather than a large change. The primary focus in Kanban is to visualize the work/activity in the billboard, whiteboard, sticky notes, or cards. (Each card for each task).

Core Concept

Kanban means flow i.e.; the tasks should flow in the system without any delay or blockage. If the Kanban is applied properly it will lead to Kaizen. The flow can be measured using the metrics to find the impediments and to work on the challenges to improve further.

Typically, the Kanban board consist of 3 columns

To-Do: List of tasks that are yet to be started

Doing/In Progress: List of tasks that are in progress

Done: List of tasks that are completed

Kanban Concept

Change management principles:

  • Start with what you do now
  • Agree to pursue incremental, evolutionary changes
  • Encourage the acts of leadership at all levels

Customer-centric principles:

  • Delivering the value to the customers by meeting their expectations
  • Effective management of work
  • Service-oriented Approach

Benefits of Kanban:

  • Enhanced visibility of work and continuous improvement
  • Improved Delivery Speed
  • Improved Predictability
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Is Kanban right for you?

  • If you want to enhance your business value
  • When you have a clear understanding of Kanban
  • When you and your team/organization agree on the key values of Kanban

Want to build a robust and custom app or software solution for your business? We help you transition your tech approach from a traditional to an agile mindset. Get in touch with us and book a free consultation.

About Author:

Renuka Nandagopal is a Seasoned Business Analyst with over 3 years of expertise in Business Analysis, Stakeholder management, Agile Implementation, and Development.

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