Applying the ‘Agile’ Way in Your Day to Day
Agile and Lean Startup are popular buzzwords in the Project Management, IT and Startup space.
Agile is a project management methodology used on IT projects and software development programs. Lean Startup is a popular approach for entrepreneurs and startups especially in the technology space and product development space.
Both are based on similar principles. That is, prioritising value and testing with customers to avoid delivering something that’s not wanted or can’t be sold. This avoids the ‘build it and they will come’ approach and hence avoids wasting time and money. Both support regular interaction with customers and delivering more frequently in regular iterations.
Having learnt and applied some of the principles in a recent client engagement, there were some Agile ways that stood out to me as things we can all apply in our own businesses or jobs, even on a day to day basis.
Be able to pivot
The Agile methodology is based on four values and 12 principles. One value is, ‘Responding to change rather than following a plan.’ This is about being more adaptable to customer requirements and changing tack when our environment or outside influences change. What can this mean for you? It’s about being mindful of when you need to change direction slightly, and being future focused. Yes, it’s great to plan though with the pace of change these days, it’s about being proactive rather than reactive when the world around you changes.
Stop starting, start finishing
The Agile methodology supports the approach of reducing bottlenecks in processes and only starting on your backlog of activities when you are ready. How does this apply to you? It’s about not jumping to every new shiny object or idea (which is common for many startups and entrepreneurs)! It’s easier to start something new than pursue with something already started, especially when things get hard. It’s a lesson for improving productivity by not trying to juggle too many things at once.
Interact and collaborate with your customers
The Agile methodology promotes the importance of engaging with the end user for their input and to incorporate their feedback. It’s also about regularly building relationships and rapport with customers. How can this benefit you? It’s worth taking the time to consider when you last requested feedback from your customers and acted on it. Important also is reviewing whether you are delivering the value your customers require and expect.
What ‘Agile’ ways will you incorporate into your day to day?