As we inch closer to completing another year, it’s time to recap 2021. Although the year was full of surprises, the Agile adoption rate increased from 37% in 2020 to 86% in 2021.
Talk about growth!
With the pandemic looming large, here are a few interesting statistics on Agile Adoption challenges-
- 46% reported inconsistent processes and practices
- 43% cited cultural clashes
- 42% stated general organizational resistance to change
- 42% remarked lack of skills and experience
Source: 15th State of Agile Report
With this, there is an important question that needs to be addressed,
“What is Agile training, and who needs it?”
We will get to answer it but not before understanding the fundamentals of the Agile methodology.
What is Agile (how it works, and why it’s awesome)?
Agile started with agile software development to develop software products and solutions iteratively and incrementally. All features get developed in increments instead of building it all at once based on feedback. Agile software development can respond to change suggested by users by minimizing process waste.
Agile software development is based on four values-
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The Agile Manifesto propagates these 12 Agile principles–
- Customer satisfaction through continuous delivery of the product
- Divide large tasks into smaller parts for faster and achievable tasks for quicker completion and easier integration of changes
- Adhere to the decided timeframe for the delivery of a working product
- All stakeholders must frequently collaborate to ensure that project is headed in the right direction
- Create a supportive environment to motivate team members and encourage them to perform better
- Prefer face to face communication over other methods
- Working software is the primary measure of progress
- Strive to maintain a steady pace of development
- Maintain the quality of the product by paying attention to the technical details
- Keep things simple
- Self-Organized teams produce more results
- Self-Reflection helps in correcting mistakes and improving performance
How does Agile work?
The Agile-based framework breaks down the project into smaller features, and many teams call them user stories. Each of the user stories is added to the product backlog by determining the highest business level that it offers to the client.
The Sprints, also called Iterations, typically last for a maximum of one month which is the developmental process. Once the sprint is complete, the outcome would be a working product released in the market.
This way, the customer reception to the product can be studied to build a product that is better suited to the customer.
The Agile approach is flexible to accommodate new requirements as to when the user’s needs change. The duration of the sprint is fixed, and the client can review the progress and suggest changes.
What is an Agile Way of Working, and How to Adopt It?
The Agile way of working entails bringing people, processes, communication, and technology, time and place together to find the most effective way of working or carrying out a particular task. It works within the guidelines but without restrictions.
Here is a 5 step process to adopt the Agile way of working-
- Build a vision: The envisioning of an agile organization is the first step of the process. First, create a singular vision that can be widely communicated to the organization. It should be understood by all, from the CEO to the entry-level employee.This will help find support from the workforce. The new vision should communicate the commercial objectives so that everyone works towards achieving them through the agile way of working.
- Get senior management support: 40% of the organizations stated Inadequate management support and sponsorship as one of the many challenges in adopting Agile.To become Agile, an organization has to find support from its C-level management since they will help drive the agile and cultural transformation. The reason why Agile transformations fail is that senior management isn’t persuaded to adopt the Agile way of working. This results in failures and delays.
- Provide autonomy to teams: Teams should be given autonomy by ensuring they are cross-functional and have the necessary skills to perform better. Nothing should divert the focus of the team from the main goal. They should be allowed to take key decisions required to deliver the product on time.They must be bound by certain rules such as autonomy in marketing expenditure but must seek permission from the HR department before hiring people.
- Develop your workforce: If Agile transformation is to become a reality, organizations must invest in training the employees so that they develop the necessary skills through dedicated resources. The entire workforce should be introduced to Agile methodology.They should be trained in various agile methodologies such as Scrum, SAFe, and Kanban. In addition to training programs, firms should invest in office environments and health programs to foster the holistic development of the employees. This creates high-level employee engagement, which leads to employee satisfaction.
- Describe a common outcome: Agile works on iterations where product development happens in Sprints lasting 1 to 4 weeks. The working product is tested by customers and based on their feedback, and improvements are made.ROI is a measure to determine the outcome. Having a measurable outcome makes it easy to determine the outcome that offers the highest business value.
Who needs Agile Training?
Before we move to who needs Agile training, we need to understand the meaning of Agile training.
Agile training is an approach to improve project development and team performance by coaching teams and organizations about Agile practices and its implementation.
Now that you know what Agile training is, we must understand who needs it the most. Here are 5 reasons that will determine who needs Agile training-
- Teams that lack collaboration: If your team members don’t cooperate during the development process, daily standup, or during the sprint process, then the project is destined to fail. By undergoing Agile training, members will be able to better collaborate. They will be able to better understand their role.Scrum Masters and Product Owners will have a better understanding of their role which will help solve the bottlenecks.
- Teams that don’t understand the vision: Teams that are short-sighted lack a clear understanding of the business outcomes that involve customer-centricity. This is the reason such teams need Agile training, which will make them understand the need to develop products according to customer needs.
- Projects are put on hold and forgotten: Projects that have developed processes that go beyond the sprint time and postpone the release dates need Agile training.Why?Simple. Stagnating projects not only hinder productivity but speed up costs that could have been spent elsewhere. Agile training helps you understand where you are going wrong and take corrective action.
- Confusion regarding roles and responsibilities: A project will never progress to success unless the team members are aware of their roles and responsibilities. Accountability and setting expectations are established only when team members are aware of their duties.Agile training can help team members fully understand their roles and responsibilities, define agreements, and definition of work commencement.
- Roadblocks during the Testing process: If you experience a smooth sail from the start of the development process only to experience bottlenecks during the Quality Assurance process, then your product is going to be unstable and unreliable.Agile can help you solve this problem. Testing is an integral part of the process in Agile development. If you are not able to deliver working software at the end of every sprint, then you are likely experiencing problems such as lack of automation, impractical continuous integration and deployment practices, and development silos.
5 Reasons Why Agile Scrum Should Be Your Next Career
Agile and Scrum frameworks were declared as the popular framework as per the 15th State of Agile Report. With this, here are 5 reasons why Agile and Scrum should be your next career-
- High Demand: Agile and Scrum certifications are in high demand since organizations are adopting Agile and Scrum. Scrum Master is ranked 40 in the Glassdoor report of 50 hottest jobs. Agile skills are in demand due to customer expectations, numerous roles, and the dynamic market.There is a demand-supply gap for Agile certified individuals and the jobs are high paying. Strike the iron while it’s still red hot.
- Become the first few to upskill: Individuals who develop the skill while the industry is new or in its nascent stage often find themselves to be most sought after. People working in the IT industry will be able to decide which Agile and Scrum certifications are the best.Seasoned Agile professionals with industry experience can become coaches and trainers. The market is favorable for people who want to pursue a career in Agile and Scrum.
- Niche Skill: Agile might have been in use for a long time now, but the dearth of skilled professionals has left the job market for Agile dry. This makes Agile and Scrum niche skills. Become Agile, and Scrum certified and bag high-paying jobs.People looking to switch careers too can pursue Agile and Scrum certifications. Niche skills are always paid higher.
- Short duration: The development lifecycle for a product has become shorter, efficient, and time-saving. Before Agile and Scrum, the testing, design, and production were all done once. Since waterfall methodology was rigid and requirements couldn’t be added later, the product was either below customer expectations or obsolete.Agile and Scrum have revolutionized the product development process. This has made Agile and Scrum niche skills.
- Numerous roles: Agile and Scrum aren’t the only frameworks. There are other Agile frameworks such as Lean, Kanban, and XP. Each of these frameworks has different roles, and organizations that use these need skilled professionals to help them implement and streamline these processes.Job roles are created based on the need, and if you’re certified in these agile frameworks, you will be indispensable in the job market.
You might be interested in reading Top Scrum Certifications You Need to Know in 2021
Types of Agile Training
We finally come to the penultimate topic that Agile and Scrum aspirants google during their free time.
Yes, we are talking about the different types of Agile training or, in other words- certifications.
- Scrum.org: Scrum.org, otherwise called “The home of Scrum,” was founded by Ken Schwaber with its motto of helping people and organizations solve complex problems. They do this by helping people apply Professional Scrum through its certifications-
These certifications help assess the knowledge of Scrum and its practical application of an individual in the real world.
- Scrum Alliance: Scrum Alliance is the only non-profit Agile certifying organization that is member-driven. It has 1,082,451 certified professionals and counting. It enables individuals to become Scrum Master who are scrum team members tasked with creating an effective and productive working environment. They guide other members to learn Scrum values, principles, and practices. It offers two Scrum certifications-
- Scaled Agile Framework: SAFe or Scaled Agile Framework is a knowledge base of proven, integrated principles, practices, and competencies for achieving business agility using Lean, Agile, and DevOps. It offers the following certification-
- ICAgile: ICAgile is on a mission to create transformational learning that ignites business agility across organizations. It offers two certifications-
By now, you would have got your answer ‘What is Agile Training and who needs it?’ The “who” is a question that needs to be asked if your teams lack collaboration, projects are stagnating, roadblocks during QA are abundant, confusion exists about roles and responsibilities, and finally, teams that understand the vision.
If you’re an organization that cannot adopt agile due to lack of management support, it’s time you hired an Agile consultant, or you could just reach out to us.
We are a team of Professional Scrum Trainers (PST) and Enterprise Agile coaches actively working as Scrum Trainers, Agile Coaches, Scrum Masters/Product Owners aimed at delivering quality and consistency for our students across the globe.