Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean, RAD, SAFe… The list of agile frameworks is long and diverse, and we spend a lot of time focusing on the differences between each. Today, we’re going to look at what links each framework.
7 things all agile frameworks have in common
For a framework to be “agile,” it needs to follow the core principles of agile. So while the different frameworks can seem quite…well… different, you’ll be surprised how much they have in common!
All agile frameworks have a fixed iteration rate
In an agile project, an iteration represents a specific amount of time in which development takes place. You will often hear these iterations referred to as sprints.
Depending on the project, iterations are usually between 1 and 4 weeks but will always be a fixed length. These fixed lengths are important as they offer a steadfast metric to measure productivity.
It’s important to remember that teams shouldn’t rush to finish everything just because there is a finite amount of time per iteration. It’s simply a tool used to plan, review processes, and estimate delivery dates.
All agile frameworks are lightweight approaches that let self-organized teams better respond to the requirements of their business
Agile methodologies are designed to empower your teams. It takes the focus away from micromanagement and encourages teams to take charge of their workflow.
Agile frameworks emphasize self-reflection with retrospectives and other methods to assess the work performed during an iteration. This allows development teams and management to understand both sides of product creation. By using an agile framework, management can better understand how the team works, and the team can better understand the requirements of the business.
The lightweight approach of agile also means that teams can be incredibly flexible. This allows teams to respond to the ever-changing requirements of the business and its market.
Agile is about iterative and incremental development
Project management is full of unknowns, and it’s impossible to plan for every single possibility. This is why planning the development process will be broken down into small, easy-to-manage chunks, no matter which agile framework you choose. This is one of many ways agile methodologies allow teams to move quickly and easily, even in the face of last-minute changes.
Each increment also represents an opportunity for growth. At the end of each iteration, teams get together to review their work to discover what went well, what needs improvement, and what should not happen again.
All frameworks aim to provide value to customers
For a long time, innovation and product development centered around bringing something unique to market and little else. This was wonderful for bringing new technology and ideas to life, but it did little to boost customer satisfaction. Each new idea simply brought a new set of customer pain points while ignoring existing pain points.
Agile frameworks flip the first-to-market mentality and place the focus back on customers. In fact, the first principle and highest priority of the Agile Manifesto is to provide customer satisfaction through continuous delivery of the product.
Agile understands that the customer is at the core of every business, so the customer should also be the core of all development processes. This way, teams can create new products that offer real value to the customer.
All frameworks focus on continuous improvement
The ideal agile team will be self-organized, motivated, and flexible. Each of those characteristics can be difficult to perfect. To avoid burnout and overzealousness, teams need to be aware that they represent goals rather than defining characteristics.
Agile offers teams a way to self-assess their work and look at ways to improve. Because you work in regular iterations, it offers more opportunities to grow than traditional methods. It also helps identify opportunities for streamlining work and reducing waste.
If you’re managing an agile team, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t be micromanaging them. Growth can only happen by empowering and supporting your team. If you trust your team, they will learn and grow much more than they would if you try to control their processes.
Agile frameworks make sure everyone is aligned with the project goal
One of the issues with traditional project management frameworks is that stakeholders, businesses, and development teams are often out of sync. Stakeholders have little understanding of the development process, the business goals are misaligned with stakeholders’ product goals, and collaboration is almost impossible. Everyone essentially works in their own little silo, and sends the occasional memo to keep everyone vaguely updated on the project’s progress.
Agile frameworks encourage everyone to get involved in all stages of the project. This helps create a valuable feedback loop that helps to align everyone with the same goals. It also allows teams to feel more comfortable with bringing up any concerns or suggestions they may have, as the stakeholders will seem more accessible.
Agile promotes steady workflows with an emphasis on quality
You will rarely find a solid deadline when working with agile. Instead, you’ll see rough timeframes and repeatable, iterative patterns that allow for sustainable development at a consistent pace. This prevents teams from taking on too much work at once, which leads to crunch periods and burnout.
Setting a comfortable working pace also helps improve the quality of your product. Rather than rushing to get everything done before a specific date, teams can take the time to perform quality work, test that work, and improve if needed. You can do all this before the product reaches the customer, ensuring that they receive the best possible product experience from day one.
When you think Agile, think EasyRetro
No matter which you choose, agile frameworks will create solid and self-organized teams and exceptional products that offer real value to your customers. That’s why at EasyRetro, we focus on all aspects of agile. Let our platform help you forge your own path. Get started today for free!