If you’re unfamiliar with Agile or aren’t sure how to implement the Agile methodology in your company, you may be looking for an outside consultant. Before you start looking for Agile consulting firms, read this blog to make sure you understand what your software development company will need to go Agile.
Break out of silos and embrace cross-functional work
The key to successful Agile implementation is to shift the focus from departments to projects and from hierarchical chains of command to decentralized, “flat” workflows. For software development, this involves creating teams to work in “sprints,” with team-level leadership rather than a vertical review process.
Agile consulting for software development helps companies reorganize their talent. Cross-functional teams bring together the right people to execute a task in a flexible, collaborative environment. A “scrum master” creates a framework for iterative progress and overall performance, which helps your company shorten the project timeline. Your Agile consultant may be a certified scrum master or help you train one for your business.
Shift the focus to the user
Nothing is more important to software development than the user’s perspective. However, traditional project frameworks have largely ignored this crucial element. Software is pushed through various phases of development before reaching the testing phase.
In Agile methodology, the user’s perspective and feedback are incorporated at multiple project stages. Agile consultants can help you reconfigure your project workflow to “iterate” with user feedback. This is made possible by modularizing the project rather than forcing it through arbitrary phases. The various cross-functional teams can brainstorm solutions as problems or feedback come in, rather than waiting on other departments to complete their work.
Improve data collection and quality assurance
One of the chief benefits of the Agile methodology for software development is its emphasis on data. Whether your company wants to streamline its product delivery or improve team efficiency, data is your friend. Going Agile means collecting the right data regularly, then adjusting the workflow based on those insights.
Your Agile consultant can help you configure automated data collection and testing procedures. Rather than letting each phase of the project “take as much time as it needs,” Agile enables you to measure project progress and shift resources, as necessary. With the right data on hand, you can better understand your team’s workload and time requirements.
Plus, Agile lends itself to better quality assurance. When the work structure is flattened and teams can check each other, it becomes much easier to measure progress against your benchmarks. Fewer things fall through the cracks among various departments because there is not a lengthy approvals process. The emphasis on team leadership and collaboration helps address issues as they arise.
Choosing an Agile consulting firm for Software Development
With these needs in mind, you can assess potential Agile consultants for software development who can help your business become more efficient and profitable. If you’ve already been using Agile or some aspects of it (e.g. a Kanban board), you may need a consultant who can help you better implement Agile throughout your business. You may also want someone who can build custom technology for your team if traditional project management tools are insufficient. Identify your top problem areas where you believe Agile would help your software business perform better.
In any case, there is no single “right” way to implement Agile. A consultant who does not take your unique aspects into account cannot give your team the framework they need to succeed. Aim to find a consultant who can craft a custom Agile plan for you that includes the right technology, team breakdown, scrum mastery, and data collection processes.
Digital Onion is led by Tony Wong, who has more than 20 years of experience implementing agile methodologies for some of the largest software companies in the world. If you would like to learn how Digital Onion can help your company go Agile or improve your existing Agile methods, talk with a Digital Onion representative using our website’s live chat.