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Topics: Agile, Disciplined Agile
The True Agile Approach
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Abhijit Ghorpade Edison, Nj, USA
So what is Agile? Based on the industry experience that I have been exposed to so far, here's what I gathered on how different teams are trying to implement projects using Agile
1. A hybrid of waterfall and agile - but using the terminologies of Agile.
2. Using the prescribed rituals (stand-ups, Sprint planning, retro etc.) but just checking the box (for the sake of it)
3. An approach that is not product focussed but just focused on velocity and points - Instead of delivering a functional skateboard or a bicycle, the deliverable is a half baked car.
4. The basic required eco-system - a) Mature team b) Accessible product owner c) commitment to the scoped/planned points for the Sprint - Either all or some are missing - causing projects/products to fail.
Here's my simple approach on Agile where I was lucky enough to be a part of and what we were able to follow / achieve -
1. Architecture - ensures a good enough architecture has been thought through (so we don't pay for design gaps during Sprints) - so dedicate the first Sprint or 2 for just ensuring a solidified architecture and design.
2. Stories - Have smaller stories rather than a big one. This ensures delivery and tangibility to enable measurement of progress
3. Scope commitment - Ensure the scoped stories are committed and only exceptions can truly remove/add scope. It shouldn't be a practice every Sprint to remove/add scope.
4. Product focus - Ensure the incremental view of Product is clear enough. So the Sprints are planned and deliver incremental product as opposed to just story points. Have a functional approach (a basic feature is good enough and then build on top of it. Rather than trying to build the entire functionality horizontally and one gets to see a workable feature only after several Sprints - that makes it a mini-waterfall).
5. Reachable product owner - as needed for quick reviews/feedback and clarifications. These little touch-points bring a lot of value to the product.
6. Team - The team is a bit courageous - Meaning - they voice over concerns if any. No idealism is assumed. Informal touch-points amongst team members is encouraged.
Rest - ceremonies and rituals are very well known - But just ensure the true value each Sprint brings to the table - that's the true measure!
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Kiron Bondale
Community Champion
Mentor| World Class Productivity Inc. Welland, Ontario, Canada
Abhijit -

These are good practices, but are Scrum-centric. You can also be agile based on a continuous flow basis rather than iteration based and events such as standups or product reviews can happen JIT rather than on a fixed cadence.

Kiron
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2 replies by Abhijit Ghorpade and Ashraf Anjum
Dec 23, 2022 3:12 PM
Abhijit Ghorpade
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Agreed Kiron. I was trying to make it look more generic than make it scrum centric. But, maybe the terms I am using make it sound that way. But the idea of what I am trying to convey is to truly adopt a product focus methodology (and yes, not necessarily via the prescribed ceremonies - JIT or anything that works).
Nov 09, 2023 10:46 PM
Ashraf Anjum
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Though, Agile & Scum approaches are being proved to be Efficient & Effective, but the basic Principles & Purposes eamin always same. It's just the Thinking & Behavioral approach that changes and given name ...
May be within next decade Agile & Scrum will change to some other approach.
Actually, this is the Developmental Change of Technology and associated available Facilities that Change the Thinking & Approach.
Otherwise, basic Principles, Purposes, & Objectives are always same .....
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Abhijit Ghorpade Edison, Nj, USA
Dec 23, 2022 2:56 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
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Abhijit -

These are good practices, but are Scrum-centric. You can also be agile based on a continuous flow basis rather than iteration based and events such as standups or product reviews can happen JIT rather than on a fixed cadence.

Kiron
Agreed Kiron. I was trying to make it look more generic than make it scrum centric. But, maybe the terms I am using make it sound that way. But the idea of what I am trying to convey is to truly adopt a product focus methodology (and yes, not necessarily via the prescribed ceremonies - JIT or anything that works).
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AHMED MOHAMED ABDELAZIZ ATTIA Jeddah, 2, Saudi Arabia
very nice
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Sergio Luis Conte Helping to create solutions for everyone| Worldwide based Organizations Buenos Aires, Argentina
If you like to know what agile is my recommendation is going to the basement searching for the papers created into the place where everything started: USA DoD/NSF Agility Forum in the Raleigh University in 1990. Agile was born in manufacturing field, not in software field. Time after the concept was taken by software. Agile was born as an alternative of Lean. Lean and Agile are different things in the essence. And Agile, like Lean, is not about a life cycle or method, is an approach, a way of thinking and behave based on deliver value to customers and quality. Because is an approach is based on systemic theory then is a matter of architecture.
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1 reply by Karl Vroman
Dec 03, 2023 9:42 AM
Karl Vroman
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Hi Sergio,
I'm discovering agile to apply in high value assets projects, but keep hitting the 'this is in fact for software development' wall. Could you give guidance in where to look for more information or user stories for the Agile approach in these kinds of projects? Thank you, BR, Karl
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Stéphane Parent Self Employed / Semi-retired| Leader Maker Prince Edward Island, Canada
While I agree that smaller stories are easier to manage and deliver, you must resist breaking them down into tasks.
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Latha Thamma reddi Sr Product and Portfolio Management (Automation Innovation)| DXC Technology Mckinney, Tx, USA
smaller stories will be easier to deliver & manage. Create multiple tasks by breaking down stories. product focus methodology
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Hai Diep® Senior Project Manager| VIB - Vietnam International Bank Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam
Ensure the incremental view of Product is clear enough. So the Sprints are planned and deliver incremental product as opposed to just story points. Have a functional approach (a basic feature is good enough and then build on top of it. Rather than trying to build the entire functionality horizontally and one gets to see a workable feature only after several Sprints - that makes it a mini-waterfall).
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Aaron Brune Project Manager| Fort Wayne Metals Fort Wayne, In, USA
As I often repeat to my teams and to my students: Agile is a mindset - not a process! :) We have multiple frameworks/methodologies to implement agile (be it software or non-software), but we cannot forget the tenant of improving our product, communicating with our stakeholders, and always searching for a better way to do what we are doing. No matter the approach we follow, we should always work toward providing a product to our customer that provides what they need and when they need it. Thanks for the article, Abhijit! :)
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Kiron Bondale
Community Champion
Mentor| World Class Productivity Inc. Welland, Ontario, Canada
For folks who have only been exposed to Scrum-like concepts, I'd highly recommend watching the Drunk Agile set of videos by Dan Vicanti & Prateek Singh on YouTube. The last few videos have done a great job of killing some so-called agile sacred cows - i.e. need for a backlog, use of timeboxes, work item prioritization.

Kiron
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Ashraf Anjum PM Consultant| OMS Lahore - Cantt, Pakistan
Dec 23, 2022 2:56 PM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Abhijit -

These are good practices, but are Scrum-centric. You can also be agile based on a continuous flow basis rather than iteration based and events such as standups or product reviews can happen JIT rather than on a fixed cadence.

Kiron
Though, Agile & Scum approaches are being proved to be Efficient & Effective, but the basic Principles & Purposes eamin always same. It's just the Thinking & Behavioral approach that changes and given name ...
May be within next decade Agile & Scrum will change to some other approach.
Actually, this is the Developmental Change of Technology and associated available Facilities that Change the Thinking & Approach.
Otherwise, basic Principles, Purposes, & Objectives are always same .....
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