So, let’s begin with top 10 frequently asked questions on Agile business improvement methodology.
FAQ 1: Is Agile good for Startups?
FAQ 2: Is Agile only for IT department?
FAQ 3: Can we introduce Agile in our organization?
FAQ 4: Is there a difference between Agile and other process improvement techniques such as Lean, ISO, Kaizen etc.?
FAQ 5: Are Agile and Scrum same?
FAQ 6: Agile scale-up is costly and requires large teams.
FAQ 7: How is Agile project management different from traditional Waterfall technique during product development?
The first main difference is that- When Agile is used in product development, in this example a software, features of the software are delivered frequently, and the testing is done in parallel to development. As a result, testing time is shortened because only small features are need be tested at a time. On the contrary, in the Waterfall methodology, testing take place at the end of the development. As a result, testing time gets lengthy as the entire product must be tested.
The second difference is that- Waterfall methodology is a closed process where all stakeholders are not involved in the development activity. In Agile methodology, active participation of all stakeholders as well as customers is a must.
Although Agile is traditionally being used in software development, it can be applied for any product development be it- toys, food, chemicals, devices, cosmetics, apparel, electronics, services etc.
Agile is especially beneficial for product development where frequent changes in the product come up on a regular basis.
FAQ 8: Can Agile increase productivity?
FAQ 9: Why is Agile so popular?
FAQ 10: What are the limitations or disadvantages of Agile methodology?
First important limitation of Agile implementation is that- Agile is rapid at small scale; but scaling up takes time. A company-wide full-scale Agile implementation takes 1 to 3 years depending upon the nature and size of business. Therefore, Agile is not for weak-hearted setups.
Secondly, Agile is unpredictable with regards to effort planning. Hence, Agile project planning must be done with caution.
Thirdly, Agile is all about being fast- to- market with a product designed as per customer demand. Hence, the mechanism of collecting voice of customer and its interpretation must be flawless. However, combining Hoshin Kanrii with Agile helps to circumvent this issue in a big way.
Lastly, Agile methodology has minimal documentation. No elaborate reports etc. Usually, simple burn up and burn down charts are used for documentation purposes. Burn up and burn down charts are visual diagrams which measure a project and show its progress, schedule, status and any outstanding work. If creating and distributing bulky reports is part of an organization’s work culture, then it needs to adapt to a major change if hoping to work with Agile. This must be factored-in while designing change strategy before proceeding with Agile.
In the next part of this article, I shall discuss on how to use Agile to improve business resilience.
- Business Turnaround and Continuous Improvement Tips & Tricks Part 3 of 6- Agile in Nutshell for Improving Sales & Marketing of Products and Services
- Improving business process effectiveness and efficiency for the new normal.
- What is the difference between business process improvement and business process redesign?