Innovative and energetic, Startups are naturally dynamic. However, as they grow, there may come a time when agile methodologies are an option to help maintain that speed.
For a small startup, agility should be a natural advantage. In the beginning, she lives or dies for two things: passion and a great idea.
After overcoming these two sentences and the company has entered the growth phase, it is necessary to maintain agility. And that’s where the need to build a structure that meets this new moment comes into play.
Generally, most people fall into two groups with extreme opinions. On the one hand, there is the more traditional staff, who sometimes for fear of change or convenience are totally against the use of agile methodologies.
And on the other side, we have people who strongly defend the movement, claiming that adopting an agile process will solve all the problems.
In this article, you will find out how you can develop Agile Methodologies in a Startup and increase instant productivity to head to become a remarkable company.
What methodology should a Startup begin?
The first option that usually comes to mind is Scrum or Kanban. If you thought about it, you started well, they are two excellent options.
However, we must beware of the excitement, and not end up making the workflow worse instead of improving it. Scrum is an excellent framework, but very prescriptive, if you’ve never used it and don’t have experience with it, start slowly.
The ideal is to study the scrum thoroughly, understand how it works and respect its recommendations and principles when applying it.
Agile methodologies in project management
Agile methodologies form a great collaborative project management framework. With your help, teams can tackle a project at various stages, involving constant collaboration, interaction, and continuous improvement.
The process starts with the customer dictating what the final product or service will look like and how it will help consumers. With some practice, you will learn what customers’ expectations are.
The key features of agile methodologies can help startups provide:
- customer satisfaction through fast and constant deliveries;
- harnessing continual change for the customer’s competitive advantage;
- team meeting throughout the project to avoid duplication of effort;
- concentration on a smaller time scale;
- transmission of information within development teams or remotely, not only physically but also through software to maintain clarity.
What is the best methodology for a Startup?
First of all, you should start by defining the roles. For the scrum to work, you need a Product Owner (P.O.) and a Scrum Master (S.M.), in addition to the development team.
The role of S.M. is one of the most important in this process, this person needs to be the most knowledgeable about how this framework works and ensure that the team uses the scrum in the best possible way.
After that, you can start with the events. Having a Planning meeting to talk about the prioritized demands for development, and doing a Daily with the team is essential.
Over time, the team can begin to explore other aspects of the scrum. Going deeper into the responsibilities of each role, as well as ensuring that the time-boxes have their importance.
It’s an evolutionary process, we can start with the basics and implement the scrum recommendations over time and as needed. Until we reach the complete process and use all the tools provided by this framework.
Kanban: benefits for Startups
Using a Kanban board can be very beneficial to the team. Start by mapping out all the steps in your workflow, create the board columns based on that, and then put in the activity cards for the team.
It’s important to point out that similarly, you should start slowly with Kanban. Place only the columns that are really part of your current workflow, not imagining the perfect flow you envision. The improvement comes after the team’s adaptation.
With this, the team will have a view of the overall progress of the project, which facilitates, among many things, the decision-making on prioritization and planning of the next activities.
How to resume with agile?
Using agile methodologies should be an evolutionary process. The cycle is basically to study, apply, and adapt, and so you will be able to do something that is in line with your team’s daily life and that makes sense for your reality.
Applying agile in the best possible way, just because it’s on the rise, but without effectiveness, doesn’t solve anything. It is a cost-benefit relationship, the time invested must compensate for the improvement in the quality of results.
After knowing agile methodologies, we can see that it is impossible to choose one medium or mindset and confidently say that it is better than the others.
But before creating a custom project management mix, take the time and make sure you have the basics. It’s worth trying to implement these mindsets as they were originally intended, and only then make some changes to optimize them for your business.
In this case, by improving existing practices, you will expand the toolkit instead of creating new processes that might not work.
A core concept for Startups
The defining benefit of the agile method is that it revolves around the concept of iteration. An iteration is, in the meaning of the word, a repetition.
In the agile methodology, when you are going through a development process more quickly several times, it is more efficient than running the process just once trying to do it as best you can.
Another fundamental tool is the prototype. Prototyping is essential to understanding and improving your product’s operation while looking for defects and flaws, without having to develop 100% working code. In this way, any problem is fixed even in the prototype, without it being transported to the product.
Develop with the customer
There are those who think even today that the development stage should be closed, but the truth is that, in most cases, it is necessary to test whether the product will work precisely at this stage, and not at launch.
These demos used to show and teach the consumer are called mockups. Through them, you can assess both your choice of front-end design and the usability of your product.
Another point of the agile method is that quality control is implemented throughout the entire development, instead of being carried out only at key verification points.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Agile Methodology for Startups
We’ve already talked about the advantages to boost a Lean Startup. Now, we will see better synchrony between the expectations of whoever commissioned the work and the development team.
Any mismatch between one and the other can be resolved at each iteration, whereas in a more linear process, it would only be noticed upon delivery. This would generate a much larger amount of rework, which costs staff financial resources and time.
The downside is that, at first glance, agile development seems to accumulate tasks rather than reduce them. Processes such as backlog prioritization, daily team meetings, and evaluation meetings, in principle generate more work, even if in the long run these will reduce your rework rate and increase the quality of your software.
If your current strategy is working well, there’s no need to change, but if you’re having difficulty prioritizing features, timeframes, and quality issues, then adopting an agile methodology might be good for you!
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