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7 Things Your Parents Never Taught You About Agile Programming

Our parents taught us the rules for survival in class, at home, and in life. They taught us the value of friends and family, and hard work.

What they simply could not have taught us was how Agile programming one day would rock our world. Let’s look at 7 notions your parents never taught you about Agile programming.

1. Look out for number one. And number one is the customer. Did your parents teach you to look out for number one? Agile explicitly redefines “number one” as the customer. Here’s why:

By now the term “savvy customer” is redundant. Customers know what they want and how they can get it. Companies relying on Agile ensure that the product development focus is on meeting or exceeding the customers' product specifications.

2. Working harder by itself is not enough to succeed. Add the notion of working smarter and you’re on the right path. Were you told that hard work was the only way to succeed? It turns out that while hard work is needed, working smarter is the real path to success.

We all know that a collective effort leads to synergy. Agile relies on the collective ability of project team members. They work smarter by pooling skills and experience, trusting each other’s input, and being willing to pivot directions instantly, collectively, as feedback emerges.

Agile teams that have worked on a number of projects together learn to exchange a flow of feedback and ideas more and more easily, increasing the likelihood that end users get a defect-free product that meets or exceeds their specifications on time and within budget.

3. Teamwork rules. If your parents taught you to lead, take a look at the role of project team leader.

It is the PM who, in Agile, plans and organizes the team’s work in alignment with company goals and customer specifications, monitors the product development in real time using Agile project management and time management tools (such as live activity streams), and ensures that the product goals are being met on time and within budget.

Under the supervision of the Project manager (PM), the Agile project team tracks and resolves issues in real time.

Project teams rely on the management skills of their PMs to succeed, and PMs rely on a team of skilled professionals to hit targets.

4. Rock the boat, please. Did your parents teach you not to rock the boat? Not in Agile. Real-time feedback and ideas are invited and necessary for early, cost-saving course corrections.

Whether the feedback or idea is from the customer, the C-Suite, or project team members, live feedback provided to project teams catches errors in real time, not after the fact. That allows teams to refocus the workflow mid-development, which translates into higher quality, lower cost products and happier customers.

Another point about rocking the boat: it’s often the path to innovation. Agile teams understand this and welcome new ideas.

5. It was broke. Agile fixed it. What happened to our parents’ notion of “That’s the way we’ve always done it?” It was broke—so Agile fixed it. Change now is invited and welcome.

Decades of design and production defects and cost-overruns finally led to the birth of Agile. Agile programming embraces live, transparent activity streams allowing instant tracking and error-spotting, and real-time resolution of any issues. Yes, in Agile, change and course correction are the norms.

6. Share what you know—don’t keep it to yourself. Collaboration is key to success in Agile. Each member of the team, whether they are designers, engineers, programmers, or quality specialists, brings key elements to the table as the product is developed.

Agile programming creates a framework for team members’ active and timely input. The Agile process works best when each team professional freely shares ideas and feedback.

7. Short-term sprints work better than marathons. Did your parents teach you that life is a marathon, not a sprint? That may work as a life philosophy, but not as a path to excellence in product development.

Agile programming relies on scrums—short sprints—to ensure that project teams utilize the strengths of each professional member to stay on track and meet customers’ requirements.

Customers—not shareholders—now drive product development in today’s competitive global environment. Agile programming enables companies to respond rapidly to customer specifications in ways that save time, reduce cost, and enable product innovations—which, in turn, attracts new customers.

Contensive relies on Agile programming to create website design and mobile application solutions that delight our customers. Please contact us, and we’ll show you just how responsive we are.

Posted By Dwayne McGowan | 1/25/2016 4:05:08 PM