A mindset that pushes people to implement practices that may drive teams to faster and more efficient ways of solving situations, problems or projects, making them deliverable earlier than traditional methods may promise. If we speak of innovation, rigid structures where certainty, predictiveness and zero risk were the main goal of project managers and executives have come to their end. The only thing we know for sure when developing a new solution is that we actually donnot know what the final result will be, so working on frameworks with pre-established futures and predefined expectations in long term time-boxes only causes creativity rupture and lack of honest commitment from our talents.
Less time, better results
Waterfall methodology, which is the traditional way of working, requires the accomplishment of each step one by one in the right order, and the next cannot begin until the last one is complete and approved by the superior authorities.
Making focus on the second and the fifth step of the Waterfall, designing demands complete understanding and clarity of the final product or solution that we are working on. Some decades later, deploy donnot allows any change from the initial idea, because it means that we would need to go back to the fisrt step and run the whole process again, including the infinite meetings, burocracy and the premanent sessions at the congress for approvals to change the color of a button.
It is true that not all projects admit agile practices. Building a bridge, for example, demands high levels of planification and the risks of construction must be really close to zero (please), but if your organization is working on new technologies or disruptive services and you truly want to make an impact by getting faster feedback from users, it is almost mandatory for you to think the Agile way.
Now tell me how
Ok, first, take it easy. I am not telling you that this process is simple. Embracing a mindset that pushes you to do things way different from what you have been doing them so far is not like eating a candy. First you need to start with something. I recommend readding the Agile Manifesto so you can see the root of this whole revolution. After that, The 12 Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto will help you understand how can this become true. Finally, picking up a framework is the key for turning this idea into a tangible process.
Here is a short list of videos that I like to share to show more clearly what is not agile. Enjoy!