05/16/2019
By
MJV Team

Agile Sprint: how it brings efficiency to your business

The term agile refers to agile practices that have emerged in the world of software development and are now increasingly implemented in other processes.

Agile practices transform business in multiple directions, providing powerful models of product and service creation, project management, and much more.

In this article, you will understand what agile practices are, what benefits this approach offers to your company. You’ll also understand how Sprint’s approach, derived from Agile, can boost results.

Check it out!

What are Agile Practices

Agile is, first and foremost, a philosophy that emerged from the Agile Manifesto when a small group of people gathered in 2001 to discuss their feelings about the traditional approach to managing software development projects.

At the time, these professionals discussed the flaws that happened frequently and sought change for the better. It was then that they created the Agile Manifesto, which, in a nutshell, describes four important values that are so relevant today.

The manifesto basically says, “we value”:

  1. Individuals and interactions about processes and tools;
  2. Software that works with more comprehensive documentation;
  3. Customer collaboration on contract negotiation;
  4. Quick responses, changes throughout the project, while following a plan.

In software development, the most used agile practices or methodologies are: Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), SCRUM and XP (Extreme Programming).

When we refer to agile business practices, we are making clear reference to this development philosophy, but also to approaches that transform corporate departmental functions, project management practices, and product and service development.

Agile practices have become critical in surviving an ever-changing environment in recent years. They facilitate the creation of more innovative, multifunctional and multidisciplinary teams that generate growth and increase skills. And they are employed in areas such as IT, HR, Marketing and Sales, among others.

Adopting an agile approach can increase self-organization and employee involvement among business teams, while breaking down organizational silos that present barriers to communication and collaboration.

A strong feature of agile practices is the so-called Sprint which, in short, a definite time period during which the specific work must be completed and prepared for review.

How Sprint Works

Turning more specifically to the use of Sprints, let us now look at how this approach is usually employed.

Each sprint begins with a planning meeting. During the meeting, the product owner (the person applying for the job) and the project team agree on what will be done during the sprint.

The team has the final say when it comes to determining how much work can realistically be done during the sprint, and the product owner has the final say on what criteria need to be met in order for the work to be approved and accepted.

The duration of a sprint is determined by the team facilitator. When the team reaches a consensus on how many days a sprint should last, all future sprints should have the same duration – up to a week, ideally; less than a month, definitely.

After the start of a sprint, the product owner should step back and let the team do its work. The team conducts daily stand-up meetings to discuss progress and discuss solutions to the challenges.

The project owner may attend these meetings as an observer, but should not interfere unless it is to answer questions.

The project owner can not make change requests during a sprint, and only the facilitator or project manager has the power to stop the sprint.

At the end of the sprint, the team submits the completed work to the project owner and the project owner uses the criteria set out in the sprint planning meeting to accept or reject what has been delivered.

What are the benefits of Sprint’s approach to your business

As you have seen, whatever the agile practice employed in a project, the work is partitioned into sprints with a well-defined frequency. There are also clear roles defined and team interaction follows rigid rules while being encouraged.

Here are the key practical benefits you can get with Sprint’s approach to your business:

Costs reduction

Small teams working tight deadlines minimize the cost of the investment. They simplify decision making and are more likely to have real impact compared to large project teams that generate many process, governance and PowerPoint presentations.

Fast growth

Organizing sprints and small teams around growth opportunities as they arise allows companies to quickly seek new opportunities.

Higher team morale

Removing the traditional hierarchy and empowering people to do things creates a feeling that they can affect change in your company, despite its size.

High productivity

Continuing response to business challenges simplifies decision making and focuses staff on a bottom line, not a process.

High energy levels

As team morale improves, adrenaline kicks in and everyone focuses on getting the job done on schedule.

Less risk

By creating a culture and environment that allows teams to experiment first – and as the project scales – it ensures that decision making is informed at all stages by actual customer data (internal or external); not by chance.

Competitive advantage

As business environments become faster and more uncertain, the ability to mobilize talented teams to start and deliver projects quickly is critical. This helps organizations become more resilient and more innovative.

Better results of diversity

The most successful sprint teams embrace diversity. Diversity of culture, experience and expertise. This helps them to solve modern and complex challenges.

Cultural change of the seed through delivery

Sprint teams have the power to define their own work practices and make their own decisions, eliminating layers of bureaucracy and unnecessary reporting that can delay progress.

More agility

Being able to move quickly to the challenges of our rapidly changing world is vital. Sprints bring talented and diverse people to solve problems. Once the challenge has been achieved, they disperse or start the next challenge.

→ Check out this case of success: Adoption of Agile Methods increases the conversion of Marketing actions by 115%!

Conclusion

As you may have noticed, agile practices anticipate the need for flexibility and apply a higher level of pragmatism to the delivery of planned results in a project.

Sprint’s approach, which is one of the main lines of the Agile philosophy, makes project productivity and efficiency much better. It also engages teams and ensures faster and more accurate finishing.

What we can add is that no company today that wants to innovate can ignore the agile methods. And no project manager should ignore the use of sprints with their teams.

And you, are you prepared to adopt the sprints method in your business? What do you think of the reflection we brought in this article? Download right now the Design Thinking and Agile e-book in the context of Digital Transformation!

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