How to Choose the Right Agile Method

Guy Rubinstein, COO at Moveo Group | Reading Time: 4 min.

In our previous articles, we introduced the Agile work methodology for product development, went over its basics and understood how the Scoping process is the first step of being Agile. However, real-life  situations sometimes prove that our plan to work in a certain manner is not serving us in the best possible way.

The real deal is to know and understand the Agile guidelines and constantly adapting them to your changing needs. Now it's the time to create your own Agile work method, based on everything you've learned so far.

Let’s Take a Look at Spotify

Link to the video here

Spotify, the famous music app, is a 100% Agile operated company. After previously operating according to one of the Agile’s existing frameworks, it realized that “principles matter more than any specific practices”. Spotify decided to break down some ground rules of Scrum and to produce a work method more accommodated to  its rapidly growing team. 

One of the changes Spotify made was turning Scrum teams into “Squads”. Squads are teams that have end-to-end responsibilities when their key driver is autonomy. Autonomy is known as contributing to a sense of ownership, bringing motivation and better performance of the entire team. As long as the Squads are aligned with their strategy, mission, and short-term goals, they can decide independently  what to build and how to build it.

Here at Moveo, we implemented the Agile concept and started to uphold a two-week sprint. We soon realized that what was working for product companies is not necessarily suitable for a services company. Three days into the sprint, clients started asking us to change things. In a two-week sprint plan, this meant that modifications could only  be made after four weeks! It was clear that this is not Agile and doesn't serve our clients well. So, we decided to shorten the sprint to one week, and added a mechanism called “breaking the sprint”. This included task prioritization and fulfilling the last day with low-priority tasks we can postpone if necessary.

Another adaptation we made over time was to change the structure of the company. We noticed that as we grow - it was getting harder to communicate effectively within the team. When designers and developers sit together around one table, a developer could  get an immediate answer to his or her question. Once we had to separate the team - this second quickly turned into a minute or more. Take the number of questions developers ask the designers during a project and multiply them by a minute - this sums up to a great deal of time.

To solve this, we split Moveo Group into small teams in which each team received full autonomy and freedom to operate. In this case, all the relevant functions of a team - Product Managers, Designers, Developers, Business Developers, QA and Marketing Managers - went back to sitting  together, which led to their work being efficient once again.

Today, each one of the teams gets to decide on its own strategy and operations on a daily and weekly basis. We’ve put in place some mechanisms to make sure all teams meet the professional standards of Moveo, including the appointment of professional managers who are committed to maintaining the highest level in their field.

So, How Should you Choose the Right method for you?
The best tip is to just start!
Stick to the Agile basic principles and be on a constant mindset of inspection and supervision. Examine on a weekly basis if each one of the principles is taking you forward or is in fact taking you backwards. If something doesn’t work well for your business - change it immediately and find out what works. 

All team members should take part in perfecting the method because it serves each one of the team members differently. If we’ll take the sprint retrospective ceremony as an example, the principle that stands behind it is to keep improving. The Sprint Retrospective may be irrelevant for a team of four people, but the team will continue to learn and improve if, at the end of each day, all team members will analyze and share what was good that day and what wasn’t.

In our series of articles, we learned about the Agile work methodology, from its background through its principles, discussing examples and all the way to its implementation. As Steve Jobs once said - “To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.” It’s the process and execution that determine success. You should choose the method and create the processes that will bring you to success.

Moveo is a tech and creative agency, providing cutting edge solutions for startups and brands. Moveo’s services include: Mobile Development, Web Development, AR/VR, UX/UI Design, Branding, and Digital Marketing. 

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