The distributed model and agile approaches are two increasingly common corporate strategies. Do they genuinely go well together? You shouldn’t overlook the Agile manifesto’s core principles if you want to deliver projects through the lenses of innovation, quality, and a dynamic business environment. It begins with a grasp of what it involves before diving into its many benefits and well-known drawbacks. As we conclude our thorough examination of the distributed model, we focus on a pairing that is becoming more and more popular right now: distributed companies and agile techniques.

Agile

Before understanding how Agile and the distributed model can work well together, let’s first evaluate what Agile is and why so many prosperous companies have adopted it. First and foremost, it’s essential to realize that Agile is a way of thinking. It is a methodology that influences how tasks are handled, and business processes are managed. Agile adoption is now more widespread than ever. Agile adoption rose from 37% in 2020 to 86% in 2021 among software development businesses, according to the 15th State of Agile analysis, a poll funded by Digital.ai.

The Agile philosophy is built on a manifesto and the 12 guiding principles that it derives. These include addressing the client’s needs first, consistently delivering functional software, giving face-to-face meetings significant importance within the development team, paying close attention to technical excellence, and monitoring progress by working on software delivery. All of these ideas govern a mindset that, as the name implies, seeks to be agile, effective, and efficient. It is therefore perfect for the existing software development industry.

Approaches for Distributed Model

If you’ve had a chance to go through the Agile tenets, you might have observed that some of them don’t seem to fit with the central idea of dispersed companies. After all, principle number six, for example, stresses the value of face-to-face communication. So how do many businesses using a distributed model utilize Agile as their primary way of thinking about daily tasks? Well, we can use a few tactics to successfully integrate Agile’s conventional methods of operation into this alliance.

Making sure the teams are flexible and capable is one of the most effective methods of using Agile methodologies. This helps guarantee that one or more trained personnel are thought of for each function in the software development process. This is much more crucial when addressing a distributed team because each member will independently contribute to the project.

The pursuit of time zone alignment is another crucial consideration. Having most (if not all) team members in the same time zone would considerably help the process and facilitate communication, something essential for any remote team because the scattered personnel will work collaboratively.

The core of Agile methodologies is collaboration. On the other hand, employees of a corporation with a distributed approach cannot walk over to a colleague’s desk and loiter there while offering feedback on the work being done. For this reason, spending money on a cloud-based software package that your entire team can use simultaneously is crucial.

Distributed and remote staff can work on the same projects at the same time, conduct Agile sprints with ease, have a clear and comprehensive view of each other’s work, and provide valuable real-time feedback to strengthen and improve what is being created collectively by taking advantage of the collaboration features that are available in so many of these applications.

Unsurprisingly, effective communication is one of the critical prerequisites for successfully applying distributed models. When teams use Agile approaches, this becomes much more vital. A conventional remote team won’t have problems holding weekly status meetings and giving everyone else the rest of the time to work on their projects. That might alter once Agile joins the group.

Agile’s reasoning is based on maximizing cooperation, which can only be done through ongoing communication. I’m not suggesting that your team members must work solely in Zoom meetings or screen sharing while coding and debugging code. However, they will need to communicate more frequently than a traditional team, not only for sprints and status reports.

The client can participate in the process and better understand what is being constructed thanks to frequent delivery, which is one of the agile principles. That alone necessitates more regular team meetings than the usual status sessions.

Each team and business have its distinctive strategy for the business, and sometimes Agile approaches just don’t fit a specific group. If that applies to you, relax. After all, no single method works for all business situations. Establishing a set of benchmarks, you can use to judge how effective Agile is for you is crucial if you’re thinking about implementing it in your team or company.

So that you can remain on top of things and, make the necessary adjustments, measure your output. Always maintain track of your team’s progress, whether in terms of projects accomplished, delivered finished goods, or any other key performance metrics you feel are most important.

 

 By Khawaja Haroon Nazim | July 25th, 2022