Success with Agile and Kanban

July 02, 2014

blog-140702-team-adaptability-336x336 Success with Agile and Kanban agile blog Adaptability and Experience are key to success with Agile and Kanban. In a survey among experts carried out by Intland Software, the following question was asked.

How much depends on a team experience and adaptability in achieving efficiency and higher productivity with Scrum or Kanban?

One of the commenter suggested the question be tackled in two parts:

  1. Does experience and adaptability play a greater role in Scrum or Kanban?
  2. What roles do experience and adaptability play in being successful (highly productive) in Scrum or Kanban (or Agile practices in general)?

After considering the comments received, I came to the following conclusions:- 

  1. The main goal of Scrum and Kanban is not to improve productivity directly, but rather indirectly by improving team motivation and collaboration. This results in greater productivity and in a higher quality product.
  2. Experience and working knowledge of Scrum and Kanban makes the process of adaptation easier but it does not necessarily mean its adoption will be a success. Adoption is far easier having an experienced team with good working knowledge of Scrum + Kanban. Simply working theory is not enough for success, working practice is necessary. A new, Agile mindset, must be adopted by team leaders and team mates alike that requires at least some training for success.
  3. The attitude of teammates is a more important factor than experience and the learning of methods used. At least one – the leading -person’s attitude has to be open to agile and lean thinking. It is more important, than the length of his/her experience or technical skills, for start practicing.
  4. The team, organization structure and maturity level strongly influences results and determining if the method used will increase productivity. The support and engagement from the management should be considered as a key success factor to be successful along with the implementation. At least one person must know what the goals are, and know how to realize them with Agility. In terms of increasing productivity and efficiency, the team has to perform well, and to do so, either wait for the team’s skills and experience to mature, or bring in a new experienced people with the required skills. Arguably, mature Scrum Teams or Kanban Teams should be more adaptable.
  5. Learning, changing, evolving, practicing are the elements needed for success in applying those methods. If everyone is trained in Scrum or Kanban then they are likely to be more comfortable with the chosen method, but that choice is based on familiarity rather than business needs. Learning, training are important factors, but a team’s adaptability depends on the openness for changing their mindset. Start practicing, and improving processes in Kanban or Sprint by Sprint with Scrum.

In summary of the feedback received, success of or failure of Scrum or Kanban depends on the business needs, detecting problems fast with the team’s performance. Scrum and Kanban can deliver new value into the organization, however the business requirements must be analysed carefully in advanced with consideration on the human factor. Agility is more dependent on the human behavior than on hardcore knowledge or training. Check out also our infographics what kind of benefits can be achieved by Agile methods in this blog post.

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Reka Moksony

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Reka is an economist with an MBA and 10+ years of experience in ICT with ERP, SCM, web, and mobile applications, as well as skills in international business development, consulting, and project management. You will find her blog posts on a variety of subjects from application lifecycle management and software quality standards to Agile methods.

Reka Moksony has written 42 posts for Intland Software.

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