Working with agility

The way I currently work is completely different from the past, both during the college days and in my previous manufacturing job. The flexibility of the IT field and technological advances have led to this new approach of working.

It is similar to what is called Agile. 1 line summary for agile? Incremental changes on the product by continuous collaboration between developers and customers. The concept might not be new, the term is. 12 years ago, a group of software engineers met up in a small town in US and created the Agile Manifesto and its underlying principles.

Some points I would like to share that I learnt from this approach:

Continuous iterative development. Do you remember the days in school/college when we submitted reports and cringed on getting feedback from our teachers? (At least I did!) But we now work with a closed loop approach. Whenever a report is created or process stabilized or a product launched, feedback is asked from the end user. The end user can be anyone using your output – the client, the customer, even your boss or someone from another department or function. Based on their feedback, we again work on improving our output. We no more hate feedback, we crave feedback.

Is this what you want?
“Sometimes questions are more important than answers.” ~ Nancy Williard
Have we ever asked what the customer truly wants? An example – my earlier bank kept calling me daily for new credit cards and DeMat accounts whereas what I wanted was inter-bank transfer. Which by the way, never got activated. Finally, I shifted to another customer-friendly bank.

With Agile, there is continuous collaboration across teams working on the product AND the end users, asking questions frequently so that final output is brought as close to the end user requirement as possible.

Embracing change. The ultimate truth – change is the only constant in life. Then why do we stick to long-term plans? If the requirements change, the output should also change, AND as quickly as the world is changing. Agile recommends responding to change as compared to following some pre-decided plan.

NOTE: Like every approach, this one too has its share of drawbacks and non-applicability to fields like manufacturing. 

Now you know why your system keeps getting updated, and why I keep asking for feedback. Please feel free to do so through the About page. 🙂

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