Having joined the Agil8 team a number of months ago now, I wanted to share my initial thoughts and experiences of working in an Agile environment for the first time.
As a total newbie to Agile, many of the terminologies and methods seemed a bit alien to me at first – with Scrum alone referring to Artifacts, Sprints, Product Backlogs etc. While each of these terminologies and practices captured my curiosity, I also found them slightly confusing, and initially struggled to get my head around them all.
However, shortly after starting in post I came across a fairly simple but very clear example of the use of Agile that really hit home with me and cemented my understanding of what the essence of Agile really is – and that’s what I wanted to share.
The Essence of Agile
The scenario actually came from one of agil8’s clients (who we’d been supporting with a programme of coaching and consulting) and revolved around the development of a new website for a particular area of their company.
During the initial stages of website development, still-designs of the new site’s homepage was presented to the Customer Stakeholder Team. Each member of the team was delighted with these designs, and gladly signed them off for development.
However, as soon as the live development version of the homepage was presented back to the team (with exactly the same designs that had recently been signed off), they quickly realised that the functionality of the homepage didn’t perform anything like it needed to. Although these issues were really quite significant, there was actually no conflict as part of this process; as the Customer Stakeholder Team were pleased to be able to test the homepage in real-time so soon, and the development guys were happy to gain instant constructive feedback on what needed to be ‘fixed’ in order to move this forward.
Now, importantly; if you ran that same scenario with the use of waterfall methodology instead of Agile – the outcomes would be very different. The Customer Stakeholder Team wouldn’t have been able to test the functionality of the homepage until right at the end of the project, when a development version of the whole site was available. Meaning that it would have either been far too late to make the changes required, or it would have significantly delayed the delivery timescales and subsequent site launch.
Can you imagine the internal conflict, lack of trust, finger pointing etc that this would have created? Instead, all parties involved in that demo went away happy, and most importantly the delivery of the new website remained on time, on budget, and achieved the aims that it initially set out to.
This to me (at my admittedly novice stage of Agile), perfectly highlights the purpose and benefits of Agile, and I’ve been able to build my knowledge around this basic, but very clear, scenario ever since.
The Journey Continues…
Since then, I’ve also attended our Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) course in London. Agil8 CEO and principal trainer David Hicks delivered the course and was fantastic – vastly competent, engaging and humorous throughout (and I’m not just saying that because he’s my boss).
By the end of the interactive 2-day course, I had an excellent grasp on the principles of Agile, as well as all Scrum practices and terminologies. I also found it hugely beneficial to meet and talk to many other delegates, each of whom were at very different stages of their own Agile journey – from beginner to highly experienced.
Wherever you are in your Agile journey; agil8’s comprehensive suite of fully accredited training can provide the right next step for you.
Take a look at agil8’s Training Portfolio here.