One major root cause of Agile failure is the lack of buy-in from Top Management. It is not easy to get this done, especially when they have years and years of traditional software development experience under their belt. In this post, let us discuss some strategies to facilitate support from them.
Agile Elevator Pitch
Let’s start with an elevator pitch to set the stage for our sales.
The immediate question that would come up is the suitability of Agile to Software Projects. I wrote another post where I describe why Agile is not one-size-fits-all.Use an Elevator Pitch to start the Agile Sale to Management Click To Tweet
Assuming that your manager was in a good mood and wants to discuss further, here are subsequent selling points that you can use. Feel feel to tweak them or change the order depending on your conversation.
Here are some unique selling points on Agile that can help garner support.
#1 Frequent Delivery leads to Frequent Feedback
Almost all Agile methodologies advocate frequent delivery of software that can be tested and used by end users. The idea is to incrementally develop the software in small steps and confirm the value. This makes recovery from any deviation or change in end user needs possible.
#2 Face to Face Communication results in Healthy Environment
Through Planning Games and other Agile Ceremonies, the team has many opportunities to talk. A Good Agile Coach makes sure that a participatory culture exist in the team. Everyone must be comfortable to speak up and share their thoughts. This result in an healthy environment that is conducive for a successful project.F2F communication results in an Healthy Agile Environment Click To Tweet
#3 Self Organization and Ownership leads to Motivated Team
Starting with estimation and architectural solutions, the team collectively owns the project deliveries. It takes some time (may be more) to make everyone in the team comfortable with this mindset. Not just for success, the team takes ownership for project failures too. In such cases, it is considered an opportunity to learn the right lessons.
Such self organization and ownership leads to motivation. The energy levels are high and everyone is receptive to everything that is happening on the project.Self Organization and Ownership leads to Motivated Agile Teams Click To Tweet
#4 Periodic Process Reviews result in Waste Elimination
Another common factor across Agile Methodologies is the frequent review of Process – to determine what is working and what is not. Instead of doing a “post-mortem” at the end of a project and hoping it will help some other team in the future, Agile advocates frequent reviews at the end of every iteration. The improve ideas from the reviews are implemented as early as the next iteration.
These reviews also help to eliminate waste thereby increasing the Process Efficiency.
#5 Focus on Testing at various levels result in High Quality
In Agile, Testing is blended with Development. Rather, the developers are encouraged to follow Test Driven Development (TDD) principles where the tests are made even before the code. This has the dual benefit of constantly increasing test coverage and building the software right.Testing is intertwined with Development in Agile Click To Tweet
#6 Sustainable Pace of Work leads to Happy Individuals
In Agile, the iterations are time boxed. As much as possible, the scope is also frozen and the team can focus completely on their commitment. This makes it possible for everyone to have a right balance of team work and individual productivity. It is highly sustainable because the chance of overworking is less and as a result the individual team members are happy and contented.Agile offers Sustainable Pace of Work leading to Happy Individuals Click To Tweet
It is not easy to garner support from Top Management on switching to Agile. Here are some tips that can help…
- Make an Agile Elevator Pitch
- Highlight the Unique Selling Points of Agile
- Discuss Case Studies from your Industry where Agile works
- Involve them in the Agile Journey to appreciate the results first hand
Good luck with your effort and I hope you soon move your Project into a suitable Agile Methodology.