Over the years a lot of IT professionals have been trying to find a process to be able to deliver faster, cleaner, and better coding –while also increasing overall productivity. Pair programming, RUP, XP and now Scrum are some of the various approaches. The practice of using Agile, specifically Scrum, is growing across numerous organizations. What started out as a development methodology is now being adapted outside of the world of writing code.
Many companies are learning how to implement components of Agile, and specifically Scrum, into other areas of the business and are often heard talking about the need to become “more Agile.” Being Agile is not necessarily the same as using Agile for software development or project development; however, it can be argued that the mindset is congruent.
Within Scrum, work is prioritized with the highest priority items addressed first and in a time boxed manner. Businesses are trying to adopt this same approach to non-software deliverables. This provides the ability to change direction quickly and efficiently while meeting the ever changing needs of today’s competitive market.
For example, taking a look outside of IT, we’ve seen Scrum practiced in the legal realm; legal research teams and paralegals are finding the value of “being Agile.” When research and discovery needs to be provided for multiple cases, we’ve seen teams prioritize work based on the business needs (or court dates) to determine what tasks to tackle first.
Many companies will never become a ‘pure’ Agile/Scrum shop; however, many will find it plausible to take a hybrid approach to “being Agile.” It is quite possible that these hybrid organizations may interact with teams or other companies who are 100% Agile/Scrum. Having an understanding of Agile and Scrum may help non-Agile or hybrid teams to understand how to interact with others. Thus, “being Agile” may take on a whole new meaning. Agile/Scrum teams and non-Agile teams often have to “be Agile” in order to accomplish the same goals.
What does this really mean? “Being Agile” means being flexible and exhibiting the ability to change direction to fit the needs of your company, teams, and external partners with whom you work. Think about what you do on a daily basis. Can you practice “being Agile?”